UPDATE: Kingfisher fire chief issues appeal on wrongful termination
UPDATE: Oct. 10 – Pondexter issues termination appeal. You can see that appeal in it’s entirety here:
Randy Poindexter Termination Appeal 10.9.13
UPDATE: Randy Poindexter issued this statement on Facebook late Friday night:
On September 25th I was presented with a letter from the Kingfisher City Manager informing me of his decision to terminate me as Fire Chief effective immediately. While I dispute the reason given for the City Manager’s decision, I wish to inform the people of Kingfisher of the great honor it’s been to protect and serve them for the past six years. My family and I will comment further at a later date, at this time we ask that our privacy be respected.
KINGFISHER, Okla. — An Oklahoma community is up in arms after hearing their beloved fire chief has been told to hit the road.
Friday, Kingfisher’s City Manager Dave Slezickey confirmed that Randy Poindexter was terminated this week.
Rumors have been flying around town as to why, but residents are looking for the truth.
Nick Martin of Kingfisher started a heated conversation on Facebook with more than a hundred comments on one single post simply saying, “Do we still have a fire chief??? Hearing rumors otherwise.”
Local salon owner Heather Briscoe has used the social media network to express her opinion as well.
“There’s been a lot of concern on Facebook,” says Briscoe. “People are really worried for him and his family and this time. Nobody really knows what’s going on and why he is losing his job.”
Christen Compton says “Randy is a good man! He has saved lives of people we love!”
In 2010 Poindexter traveled to Washington D.C. where he was presented with the Medal of Valor from Vice President Joe Biden, an award that resulted from his involvement in flood water rescues in 2007.
On that Facebook post Janna Smith says afterwards “he had calls from all over the state and beyond with job offers but said no. He wanted to make Kingfisher home.”
Residents say that right there is a testament to his character.
“He just got a medal of honor not too long ago,” says Briscoe. “And now their letting him go.”
Residents told us Poindexter’s brother has serious legal differences with Kingfisher Mayor Jack Stuteville. They think the former fire chief might be taking the fall.
We stopped by Jack Stuteville’s home and went by City Hall to hear his reasoning for outing Poindexter.
Inside, city officials didn’t want to go on camera and couldn’t give me specifics but residents say they won’t back down until the city speaks up.
Briscoe says, ”He’s done a lot of good things for the community.”
We did speak with Poindexter Friday. He says he’s going to speak publicly next week and he believes he was wrongfully terminated.
Kingfisher residents commenting on that Facebook post have sworn to be at every city council meeting, standing up for the chief, from here on out.