Oklahoma Watches and Warnings

Oklahoma police chief suspended after dismissing traffic ticket for former county official

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WILSON, Okla. – A police chief in one Oklahoma community is being punished for dismissing a traffic ticket for a former sheriff.

On Monday, the Wilson City Council held a special meeting regarding Wilson Police Chief Felix Hernandez.

Hernandez was put on leave last week after he dismissed a traffic ticket for former Love County Sheriff Joe Russell. Russell is accused of not changing lanes for an emergency vehicle, according to KXII.

When asked why he dismissed the ticket, Hernandez said that Russell claimed that it was unsafe to change lanes at that moment.

The council decided to suspend Hernandez without pay for a month. Members say Hernandez overstepped his boundaries because only a judge, mayor or the issuing officer can dismiss a ticket.

This isn’t the first time Joe Russell has made the news.

Russell was arrested in July 2016 for corruption in office, willful neglect of duty and maladministration.

The corruption allegations stem from an incident in which the sheriff allowed several individuals to use meth inside his own home in his presence, court documents state.

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