Another police chief under fire in Oakman
by Rachel Davis
Jan 20, 2012 | 4294 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Oakman Police Chief Keith Parker was suspended with pay last week by Mayor Joyce Todd. Parker said he was suspended with pay via a letter from the mayor, after reporting to work on Friday, Jan. 13.

“Just to make a long story short, I got out of the hospital, the doctor wrote me off work for a couple of more days and I went back to work last Thursday,” Parker said. “I was there maybe 10 minutes and the mayor came in and suspended me with pay. It was horrible.”

Parker also said he was asked to surrender all equipment issued to him from the city before leaving to begin his suspension.

This is the latest chapter in a town rocked by controversy and near-constant turnover in the role of police chief.

Parker was appointed in April to replace John Wilson, who resigned after serving his second term as Oakman’s police chief. Between Wilson’s first and second terms, Boo Woodard served in the position.

Wilson stated in his resignation letter last year that “at times there were no officers to hire and other times the officers we had were fired for no reason by the administration. I have exhausted all means at my disposal to keep this police department moving forward yet it seems like I was always running in reverse.

“I see no need to continue on this path and cannot allow myself to be a part of this nonsense any longer. When there is no cooperation among people who are policy makers, nothing gets done.”

Woodard’s battles with Todd during his tenure culminated in his suspension and eventual arrest.

Council members Dennis Welch and Patt Blackwell confirmed they had heard Parker was suspended with pay but didn’t know any details on the reason for or duration of the suspension.

When reached Thursday afternoon, Todd would say only, “I don’t have anything to say to the Daily Mountain Eagle.”

The Oakman City Council will meet Monday, Jan. 23, at 5:30 p.m. in the Oakman Community Center.