Norman Fraternal Order Of Police Files Lawsuit Against City Of Norman

Friday, July 3rd 2020, 5:39 pm

The Fraternal Order of Police is suing the City of Norman for what they call violations with the recent budget. This is in response to the city cutting some of the Norman Police Department’s budget last month. 

The lawsuit accuses the city of violating the Open Meetings Act as well as not following the Public Safety Sales Tax Ordinance.

Last month, the Norman City Council cut $865,000 from the police department’s $31 million budget. Now Norman’s FOP is fighting back.

“Removing money from our budget is not going to fix those problems,” said Robert Wasoski, president of Norman FOP. “We’re still going to have problems of crime, and the need for public safety and police officers in Norman.”

Wasoski said the Norman City Council never listed ‘defunding police’ or cutting their budget on their official agenda, which he said violates the Open Meetings Act.

“Because the agenda wasn’t specific and direct to what was going to be discussed or changed,” said Wasoski. “We believe that was a violation.”

Also, in 2015, voters passed a safety sales tax, which the FOP said requires the city to maintain a minimum number of public safety personnel. However, Wasoski said the city never filled the positions that the sales tax was supposed to create.

“Some of it has to do with possibly violating the public’s trust in not fulfilling what the citizens voted for and an ordinance that was put in place,” said Wasoski.

Officials said the main purpose of this lawsuit is to protect public safety in the city of Norman.

“We certainly want what’s best for the citizens,” Wasoski said. “We want what’s best for the officers and in doing that hopefully a common ground can be reached.”

News 9 reached out to Norman Mayor Breea Clark, but she doesn’t have a comment on the lawsuit at this time.