The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

December 10, 2006

Candidate pulling from mayor’s race


By Tippi Rasp

Staff Writer



A candidate for mayor said he plans to withdraw his name from consideration because local law enforcement officials are out to get him.

Rick Childs said he sent a certified letter Fri-day night to the election board stating his in-tent to bow out because he was un-fairly targeted by local law enforcement officials.

“I’m withdrawing,” he said. “I’ve got people that work for me that I’ve got to protect.”

Childs said a lawman driving an unmarked police car stopped a woman who works for Childs and conducted a fruitless search of her car for drugs.

Enid Police Department Sgt. Warren Wilson said Childs came in to talk to police Friday night on behalf of one of his employees, Linda Hughey. Wilson said Childs described a vehicle that didn’t match anything in the department’s fleet.

Childs also described a plain-clothes officer who was wearing a badge on his belt. Wilson said no plain-clothed lawmen were working Friday night.

“We have concluded that was not one of our on-duty officers, and we’re now treating it as a criminal matter,” Wilson said.

Hughey described a dark-colored mid-sized vehicle with a red, flashing light on the dash.

Wilson said police were continuing their investigation and anyone with information on the incident should call Enid Police Department at 242-7000.

Childs initially came to the police department alone to complain on behalf of Hughey. Wilson said he asked Childs to bring her in so she could make a written statement about the incident.

Childs said Hughey had driven to Child’s business, Wild Childs Gentlemen’s Club, on South Van Buren to pick up a part for a vacuum cleaner. A club employee took the part out to Hughey’s vehicle and handed it to her through the window. She was pulled over immediately after pulling out of the club’s parking lot, she said.

Hughey said she saw lights and assumed she was being stopped by police.

“At this point, I’m afraid to speculate,” she said. “All I know is I believed that it was (the police).”

But Childs said Saturday he wasn’t sure it was Enid police or Garfield County deputies who had searched his employee’s vehicle.

“I’m not sure. It was some type of local law enforcement,” Childs said.

Childs said Friday night’s incident with his employee was the last straw.

“If they’re going to start targeting the club — if they’re going to do this, what are they going to do next? Start planting drugs?” Child said.

Hughey’s roommate took the car to police Saturday morning so they could search for drugs which Hughey was afraid may have been planted in the car, but police refused.

Wilson said searching a vehicle in that situation wasn’t normal protocol, and it could potentially cause liability issues.

Childs said last week he has often been at odds with Enid City Commission and had considered running for mayor. He filed his intent with the election board last week.

The final straw, Childs said, came Tuesday night when commissioners approved a $50,000 investment to bring a Centennial concert to Enid.

“We spend a lot of money and don’t look for any other type of revenue sources,” he said.

Childs was referring to a 6-1 vote by Enid City Commission that would provide a $50,000 investment to help bring Vince Gill and Amy Grant to Enid for a concert. The investment is to be paid back to the city from ticket sales.

Childs said some of the issues he has protested to commissioners before were ignored. He thinks other issues brought by residents also are ignored.

Childs also mentioned his discontent concerning a city commissioner who violated city ordinances by failing to clean up his property. Commissioner Loyd Kaufman, Ward 4, now has his property clean to the city’s satisfaction.

Childs has said he represents the people who are ignored by the commission — the “silent majority.”

“It’s like a stripper told me once, ‘Nobody cares about us,’” he said.