LINDSAY, Okla. (KFOR) – A Lindsay City Council meeting ended Wednesday afternoon in chaos and a physical altercation that resulted in a councilmember being arrested for allegedly hitting a citizen in the chest.
A small-town city council meeting turned into an exchange of words that can be seen in the cities Facebook stream here.
Allegedly, after the meeting, the words turned into a swing and a shove. The commotion comes during a special meeting with two councilmembers now possibly being replaced in a recall election. Things got heated and different people are painting a very different picture of what took place.
“It’s a witch hunt is what it is,” said Councilwoman Robin Staggs in the city’s video, talking about the validating of the recall petition by the city clerk and setting of a recall election by the council.
The fiery City Council meeting allegedly turned physical outside, shortly after words were exchanged between multiple people, including councilwoman Staggs.
“She just came out of my right side and blindsided me,” said Robert Brooks, who was allegedly hit by Staggs.
Brooks is an organizer and participant in the recall petition to recall Staggs and another councilmember. He said he told police that she ran up to him after the meeting and hit him in the chest.
“It’s a blackeye on our community, but I hope that both sides can come together and respect the democratic process,” Brooks said.
“No one that was at that meeting today believes that Councilmember Staggs did anything but defend herself,” said Skip Mitchell, a Lindsay citizen who was at the meeting.
Mitchell gave a totally different account of what took place at the meeting. He alleges that Brooks got in Staggs’s face.
“He started being verbally abusive to Mrs. Staggs,” Mitchell said. “From my perspective, she was threatened, and I think she stood her ground.”
Brooks denied that allegation as he is also attempting a run for the Lindsay City Council.
“I just feel like that they need some more support,” Brooks said.
Mitchell though, said that he feels there are issues with other City Council members along with city spending. He said both Staggs and Hernandez, the other councilmember up for recall, were asking necessary questions about just that.
“They should have been handed medals,” Mitchell said.
A recall election of both officials is set for early November. Meanwhile, Staggs was arrested after the incident. She has already bonded out of the Garvin County Jail.
“We just want our town to be run by people that care about our town,” Mitchell said.
“I just want them to respect the democratic process,” Brooks said.
It is ultimately unclear exactly what happened outside of City Hall without any video of the actual incident. An attorney for Staggs advised the family not to speak at this time. We’re told Mitchell set up a meeting with State Auditor Cindy Byrd next week. He said they are also in the process of recalling the city’s vice mayor.