McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

November 4, 2013

Commissioners fire county foreman

By Jeanne LeFlore
Staff Writer

McALESTER — The Pittsburg County commissioners voted to fire the District 3 foreman for the “betterment of the county.”

District 3 Foreman Paul Watkins was terminated from his position during an agenda item stating “possible action of termination of Paul Watkins.”

The action happened after Pittsburg County commissioners convened in a secret executive session held during Monday’s regular commissioner’s meeting at the Pittsburg County Courthouse.

“The commissioners moved to terminate (Paul Watkins) for the betterment of the county,” said Sandra Crenshaw commission clerk.

District 2 Commissioner Kevin Smith said the termination was effective immediately. He also said he could not make any further comment on Watkins termination because of legal reasons.

Watkins was employed as the foreman since Jan. 2011 and worked under the late District 3 Commissioner Ronnie Young, Crenshaw said.

Young was found dead at his home Aug. 7 of an apparent gunshot wound to the head, according to a police report. Officials said the case is still under investigation pending an autopsy report.

Meanwhile in Oct. Watkins unsuccessfully run for office during a special election for the seat left vacant by Young’s death.

Also attending Monday’s meeting was District 1 Commissioner Gene Rogers.

Pittsburg County commissioners meet Mondays at 9 a.m. in the commissioner’s conference room at the Pittsburg County Courthouse.

The meetings are open to the public.

Contact Jeanne LeFlore