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As far as former Guymon Police Chief Eddie Adamson is concerned, he should have been back to work running the Guymon police force last Spring.
Instead, Adamson tendered his resignation effective tomorrow, and Monday will begin his new job running the Chickasha Police Department in Central Oklahoma. The new job puts an end to what Adamson called the worst 9 months of his career.
â€śThis has been the most trying nine months of my life,â€ť Adamson told the Guymon Daily Herald on Wednesday morning. â€śAnd for my family, we have seen the best and worst out of people the last nine months.â€ť
Adamson was on paid administrative leave for nine months, but said he could not talk about the issue due to legalities.
â€śWhile it was still out there and unresolved, if I started publicly talking about it, it could be construed that I was trying to interfere with an administrative investigation,â€ť Adamson said. â€śThat in and of itself would be grounds for termination.â€ť
The ordeal began Jan. 8 when Adamson, a 20-year law enforcement veteran and native of Forrest City, Ark., was rushed to Memorial Hospital of Texas County. Adamson was using a patch to control pain following back surgery in 2010. The night of Jan. 8, Adamsonâ€™s patch came into contact with a heating pad while he slept, causing the medicine to release faster than it should have.
â€śI was placed on (paid) administrative leave (Jan. 27) while they looked into the medicine issue with the hospital,â€ť Adamson said, â€śso the City Manager (Ted Graham) could conduct an investigation into the potential misuse or abuse of medications or drugs.â€ť
After an investigation, Adamson was exonerated of any wrongdoing.
â€śIt was not a misuse or anything like that,â€ť Adamson said.
Adamson assisted in the investigation, providing doctorâ€™s reports, and speaking to an impartial third party the city hired.
CLEET Certification Issue
Adamson didnâ€™t hear anything else until April 17, when he received a package from Graham regarding his Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training (CLEET) certification being suspended.
â€śI had no idea there was a problem with it at all,â€ť Adamson said, â€śbecause the mail had been delivered to the police department. It had my name on it. City documents admit it was delivered.â€ť
It was delivered on Feb. 7, while Adamson was on paid administrative leave and had no access to any mail delivered to the police department.
The CLEET certification had nothing to do with the drug abuse investigation, Adamson said. It was just a clerical error saying he didnâ€™t have the required number of CLEET training hours in 2011, which he did.
Adamson said the CLEET letter was at the police station when he went there to retrieve some personal property from his office on March 6.
â€śI never got the CLEET letter,â€ť Adamson said. â€śAt this point, I get blindsided. I didnâ€™t know there was an issue.â€ť
The city issued a notice of a disciplinary hearing against Adamson regarding the CLEET certification. According to Adamson, the cityâ€™s documents indicate the mail was delivered to Adamsonâ€™s name at the police departmentâ€™s address, â€śKnowing I was on administrative leave, knowing I didnâ€™t get any mail, then they do an intent of a pre-disciplinary hearing,â€ť Adamson said.
After that issue was resolved, Adamson said he received the report stating he was cleared of any wrongdoing on the drug issue. That memo was dated Feb. 15, but Adamson said he didnâ€™t receive it until June 7.
â€śThe fact is the issues with CLEET happened when I had no access to the mail, (the city has) the letter because they put a copy in the file they gave me, and they knew I didnâ€™t know about it,â€ť Adamson said. â€śAnd then try to take discipline on it. Thatâ€™s a fact. Thatâ€™s irrefutable.â€ť
Adamson said the city then requested medical releases from all the doctors, and Adamson met with specialist in Oklahoma City â€” twice â€” the final time on June 28. That doctor, Robert Shaw, said the incident with the patch was an accident because of the heat coming into contact with it.
Adamson informed city officials that he had applied for the Chickasha position more than a month ago, all the while waiting to be reinstated in Guymon.
In the meantime, Adamson said that other law enforcement agencies were approaching him regarding his CLEET certification, a certification that was reinstated on April 19, with no indication on record that it had ever been suspended.
So how do other law enforcement agencies allegedly know?
â€śThatâ€™s just the thing, somebodyâ€™s out there saying that, which damages my reputation,â€ť Adamson said. â€śIt had some far-reaching implications for me, professionally.
â€śI canâ€™t explain or speculate on why it happened. But I can say that for my family, I cannot tell you the anguish it has put my family through.
â€śWe have persevered and tried to keep our head up.â€ť
Adamson said he doesnâ€™t want the public to think the Chief of Police violated the trust of that position, that he was doing anything wrong.
â€śI could have taken the job in Chickasha and walked out and never said another word about this,â€ť Adamson said. â€śThe public needs to know, (in) my five years spent here, that I wasnâ€™t mis-using drugs and getting my certification suspended and being so unprofessional about everything because I wasnâ€™t.
â€śThe whole deal lasted way too long, regardless of how it was going to turn out, it lasted way too long.â€ť
Chickasha has been without a chief since December 2011 when its chief retired. Adamson was selected from a large pool of applicants, and Chickasha hired an independent firm to do a background check on Adamson.
That firm interviewed several people in Guymon, including Graham, and all gave glowing reviews.
Adamson starts his new job Monday, and his wife Melissa and daughter, Presley, will join him at a later date.