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Nowata County

Posted: Mar 18, 2019 1:01 PMUpdated: Mar 19, 2019 10:58 AM

Barnett, All Nowata County Law Enforcement Resign

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Max Gross

Nowata County Sheriff Terry Sue Barnett announced her resignation, along with all Nowata County law enforcement officers effective as of 11 a.m. on Monday.

Judge Carl Gibson allegedly ordered Barnett to return prisoners to the jail by 9 a.m. Friday morning or be held in contempt of court. Barnett says the current conditions of the jail are uninhabitable. She had been vocal about concerns with the jail in previous weeks even prior to the carbon monoxide leak that forced the evacuation of the jail on Feb. 28.

Barnett was informed that Judge Gibson won’t accept her resignation. Barnett says she doesn’t answer to the judge.

Barnett says that she had a conversation with Gibson last week to discuss options with the jail. Barnett recounted that conversation during a press conference Monday afternoon.

Barnett says it was clear that Gibson attempted to bribe her. She stated that Gibson would not stop her from doing the right thing.

Barnett says she was blindsided by the move. Gibson stated at last week’s county commissioners meeting that the jail needs to be held to a higher standard and he supports Barnett’s efforts.

While most members of the sheriff’s staff have or will attempt to resign a dispatcher does remain on staff. Barnett says when Nowata County residents are in need of law enforcement they can rely on other entities for help.

Rogers County sheriff Scott Walton stated that he would not be responding to any calls in Nowata County. A hearing will be conducted at 9 a.m. at the Nowata County Courthouse on Tuesday involving all parties.

A request for comment was denied by Judge Gibson.

Hear Barnett's full resignation statement.



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