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The Daily Ardmoreite
  • Police chief voluntarily resigns

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  • Ardmore Police Chief Keith Mann resigned Tuesday as the result of what City Manger J.D. Spohn called a "joint decision" between the city and the chief.
    In a formal press release, Spohn said, "The city of Ardmore and Keith Mann jointly announce the decision by Mann to voluntarily resign his position as Chief of Police of the city of Ardmore effective at the close of business on June 18, 2013. Chief Mann has been on routine paid administrative leave for the last week to allow the parties sufficient time to prepare for an orderly transfer of operations at the Ardmore Police Department.
    "Keith Mann has served as Chief of Police since February of 2010. Prior to coming to the city of Ardmore, Mann had a long career with the Oklahoma City Police Department prior to his retirement from that municipality."
    Mann's resignation was announced after he and his attorney, Mike Hisey, met with Spohn and the city's attorney, Margaret Love. Both Mann and Hisey declined comment on the announcement of the resignation.
    The chief and Deputy Chief Eric Hamblin were placed on paid leave June 18 due to what Spohn called an "ongoing investigation into various operational aspects of the Ardmore Police Department."
    Hamblin also attended a separate meeting with Spohn and Love Tuesday. While Spohn would not discuss the meeting, he indicated Hamblin remains on paid administrative leave.
    "We're still in the process," Spohn said. "We're trying to work through it."
    The city manager has declined to reveal any information regarding who has leveled allegations or what the allegations against Mann and Hamblin are since announcing the suspension. He has repeatedly said he is restricted from discussing "confidential personnel issues."
    It was the same answer citizens attending the city's town hall meeting Monday at the H.F.V. Wilson Community Center received. About a third of the 16 attendees indicated they were at the forum in support of the chief and deputy chief. Several of the group told The Ardmoreite they left the meeting dissatisfied with the answers they got.
    Tuesday evening during a similar forum at the Ardmore Public Library, some citizens also approached Spohn about the issues.
    The city manager said Tuesday night, "About a half dozen people approached me about the police department, but they understand that we can't comment on it."
    Mann is the sixth person to have served as the APD chief in the past 16 years. During that time, a number of interim chiefs have also served as the city conducted searches for a permanent chief. Capt. Kevin Norris is currently filling the interim chief position.

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