Kingfisher accused of breaking federal law in fire chief firing

Kingfisher accused of breaking federal law in fire chief firing

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KINGFISHER -

The man who won the President's Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor for his heroic efforts during the 2007 Kingfisher floods is now fighting to get his job back and his attorney says the city may have broken federal laws when it fired him.

Click here to read the reasons why Poindexter says he deserves his job back.

The city manager fired Poindexter in September and immediately cut off access to his city-provided insurance plan. Poindexter says the city failed to provide him notice of when his insurance plan would end and did not give him the option to purchase supplemental insurance. He only found out about his insurance when he had to take his son to the doctor.

"There's a federal law that was created just for that purpose," said Poindexter's attorney Matt Smith, "From what I can tell in the information we've received those federal laws weren't followed."

Smith also says Poindexter was only given three days to respond to a list of vague allegations before he was fired. He says Poindexter asked for additional time, but the city manager refused.

"There's no time frame requirement, it could have been held with five minutes' notice, it could have been held immediately," said City Manager Dave Slezickey. Slezickey told Fox 25 Poindexter had ample notice to respond to his concerns.

Poindexter's appeal also requests Slezickey and Kingfisher Mayor Jack Stuteville recuse themselves from the appeals process. Poindexter says they cannot be fair because of their involvement in a lawsuit Poindexter's brother has against the city and city leaders. That lawsuit stems from work the city needed done on the flood plain buyout program.

Click here to see past stories on the controversial buyout.

Click here to see past stories on who's benefiting from the buyout.

Slezickey said he had not seen the appeal and could not comment on the requests or how he might handle the appeal process. He told Fox 25 the lawsuit against the city had no impact on his relationship with Chief Poindexter.

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