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January 18, 2014

Former Mayes County jailer sues county

PRYOR, OK — Charles Williams filed a civil lawsuit Friday against the Mayes County Sheriff's Office, and the board of county commissioners by extension.

Listed as “factual background” in the suit, Williams states he was hired at the Mayes County Jail in March 2012 as the jail administrator. Williams was hired by Sheriff Frank Cantey’s administration.

“Williams was responsible for managing the daily operations of the jail,” it says.

In the performance of his duties, Williams says, he was required to subdue an inmate.

“In the altercation, Williams was inured and required medical treatment, including back surgery and physical rehabilitation,” Williams’ attorney Robert Winters states in the petition. “Because of the nature and extent of his injury, Williams’ physician restricted Williams’ activities and would not allow Williams to work.

The jail administrator took a medical leave for surgery and rehabilitation and advised the sheriff’s office of his recovery process and anticipated return to work, according to Winters.

The attorney also writes Williams was released and declared fit to return to work by his physician May 8, 2013.

“On or about May 10, 2013, Williams reported to return to his position as the Mayes County Jail Administrator when Sheriff Mike Reed terminated Williams’ employment because Williams had been replaced while he was receiving medical care and recovering from his job-related injury,” it says.

“Further, as the newly elected Mayes County Sheriff, Reed chose to replace Williams with a political supporter from Reed’s successful political campaign rather than recognizing Williams’ right to have time off to recover.”

Winters concludes, “Reed’s actions in refusing to restore Williams to his job were wrongful and were retaliatory and discriminatory in nature.”

Williams is suing for compensation in excess of $75,000.

When contacted, neither commissioner Alva Martin or Reed were aware a lawsuit had been filed.

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