SEMINOLE, Okla. (KFOR) – The Seminole police chief and the City of Seminole are silent no more, after releasing two statements Wednesday revealing their sides of the story.
Police Chief David Hanson’s sent his statement directly to News 4 that reads as follows:
“These allegations are completely shocking to me. Justin and Todd Holliday have been close friends of my family. They have been guests in our home, we’ve been to dinner together with our spouses, and socialized on many other occasions. They both know I am not homophobic. We exchanged cordial, off-color texts. They texted wild gay comments and made fun of me being Jewish. I responded with off-color jokes. Not one time did I ever detect that any remark made was unwelcome or offensive. There were certainly no feelings of hostility. I didn’t find the anti-Semitic remarks offensive and took them in jest. I welcome the opportunity to provide our text conversations to the public when the time is appropriate so they can judge for themselves. If I would have known the Holliday’s felt this way I would have corrected the issue immediately, rather than them going to the press and causing embarrassment to my family and the community. If I have offended them or the LBGTQ community in any way, I most sincerely apologize. This is one of those life-learning lessons that come at great cost and I have certainly been humbled by this experience.”
The City of Seminole also released their own statement that reads as follows:
“Statement regarding Seminole Police Chief David Hanson
Issued by City Manager, Steve Saxon
We are aware of complaints against the Police Chief by members of the Fraternal Order of Police and a member of the public. We consider all complaints of this nature very serious. At our request, there will be an outside investigation into the allegations. This is a personnel situation, which requires a high level of confidentiality. I can assure the public that all concerns will be adequately addressed.
On Friday March 13th there will be a Special City Council meeting with one agenda item. That item is an executive session on Friday March 13th at noon to discuss the Police Chief.”
These statements come just one day after allegations against Hanson from members of the public and one of his own officers.
“Our whole lives we were called names. Justin and I both,” said Todd Holliday. A person who alleges harassment against Hanson through text messages News 4 showed yesterday and in person. “And we shouldn’t have to put up with it anymore.”
“Being berated is a daily abuse,” said Lt. Michael Burnett. “It’s gotten to the point where none of us want to come to work. We get called fat, we’re too fat, you’re too fat to do this.”
Hanson said he can not comment on his officer’s remarks, citing “personnel issues”. The statement from the city also comes just less than a week after we tracked down a formal complaint from Todd Holliday given to the city manager Steve Saxon.
“Enough is enough,” Holliday said.
Hanson has gained some support. A woman named Marie Mejia reached out to News 4 via Facebook messenger defending his actions with his officers.
“He’s not like what’s being said,” Mejia said in her message. “If David does something, that officer does it back.”
Mejia did not comment on the text messages allegedly sent by Hanson to Holliday, rather addressing how Hanson spent time with her family.
“He picks up my baby girl to go eat with him and the fellow officers,” she said. “I had so many problems and when them other officers turned their head, David was the only one who helped me.”
Now, with the situation brought to the light, Holliday and Burnett said they have fears of retaliation.
“I’m afraid we’re going to have a target on our back,” Holliday said.
“It’d be working under a microscope for the next four years,” Burnett said.