SHAWNEE, OK – A letter to all police union members shows that Shawnee Police Association President Ken King and two members of the union’s executive board resigned on Thursday.
The letter, headlined “Attention” and addressed to all union members and listed as being from King, although it did not have his signature, appeared on the bulletin board in the police briefing room sometime Thursday afternoon.
“Effective immediately, I have resigned as Union President. I also have been advised that Lloyd Fulton and Kim Dibble also resigned,” the letter reads.
Sources said Fulton has served as the union’s vice president and Dibble was the treasurer.
“I recommend you schedule a meeting as soon as possible to elect a new executive board,” the letter concludes.
The E-board consists of four officers and the resignations cover all but one member, the secretary, who is currently deployed through the military and not available to conduct union business, sources said.
As officers discussed the letter, it appeared they would be working together to set up a special union meeting, likely by next week, to elect new E-board members. The union typically meets on a quarterly basis.
Reasons for the resignations were not disclosed in the brief letter, but the union has been at the center of some recent issues involving a Dec. 1 vote of no confidence against Chief Russell Frantz.
King indicated “a clear majority” of union members supported that measure although the official count was never revealed to members of the union nor to the public by King.
Before the holidays, Officer George Stafford conducted an independent survey by private ballot of every officer on the department to reveal who supported the no confidence vote. There are 58 officers, but only union members — 38 of them — were able to vote Dec. 1, and less than 20 were reported to be in attendance of that union meeting, held on the same night as the Shawnee Christmas parade.
Fourteen officers on the department aren’t yet eligible to join the union.
Of the 58 officers polled, the survey revealed five officers supported the union’s stance, while 29 officers did not support the vote of no confidence against Chief Frantz. One abstained and 23 others declined to take the survey.
Regardless whether the resignations stem from any of that, Frantz and many others at the department were surprised by the note Thursday.
The chief’s first thoughts, he said, were that regardless of who sits on the union’s E-Board, everyone has to work together.
“We want what’s best for the officers and citizens,” Frantz said. “Whatever they decide to do, I’d like to meet with the new E-board as soon as possible.”
A phone message seeking comment from King about his decision or the letter was not returned by press time.
Watch for updates.
From The Shawnee News-Star.