FAIRLAND, Okla. – The former Fairland police chief was cleared of any wrongdoing in connection with an investigation after a town trustee accused him of falsifying time sheets, according to an Oklahoma Attorney General investigator.  

“We have filed no indictment – no indictment clears (Aaron) Richardson,” said Steven Johnson, investigator.   

The investigation was launched after Brent Davis, a Fairland Board of Trustee member, made public comments about former Police Chief Aaron Richardson saying he was under investigation and would be indicted by the state’s Attorney General’s office on grounds he falsified time sheets.  

Johnson declined to comment on the details of the investigation other than to say, “there is no indictment” and “he (Richardson) is cleared.”  

Town trustees and former Fairland police officers publicly said Davis’ vendetta centers around the outcome to a domestic situation investigated by Richardson that didn’t favor Davis.  For months Davis complained during town meetings and privately sought to have Richardson removed from office.  

Davis did not respond to email requests seeking comment on the Attorney General’s office decision.  

Richardson said he hopes the community can heal from the division and strife.  

“I encourage the community to support the men and women law enforcement officers that protect the community, school, and businesses,” Richardson said.  

“I am thankful for the hard work that the Attorney General put into this matter,” Richardson said.  

“Although I have been cleared of any criminal wrongdoing, I am keeping all my options that are available to me by law open,” Richardson said. 

Under the advice of legal counsel, Richardson declined to make any further statement on this matter at this time.  

“I know this (investigation) has caused him (Richardson) a lot of undue stress, his reputation, and a job,” said John Finnell, former mayor.

There’s no amount of money that can repair the damages, he said.

“He has my support if he chooses to file a lawsuit,” Finnell said. “Maybe then, people will open their eyes and get more involved with town meetings and elections.”

In a 13-minute audio recording, obtained by KODE/KSN, between Davis and Finnell, dated June 30, 2020, Davis is heard saying derogatory comments about Richardson –

Mark 5:08:

Finnell: You still go after chief.  

Davis: And I am gonna go after him because he is crooked.  

Finnell: No, he’s not.  There has been nothing proven.  

Davis: He lied. 

Finnell: There is no proof – still – you still have not been able to wrangle up any proof.  

Davis: Because he won’t let me do a background check.  

Finnell: You saw the background check and you said you were okay with that. Did you not? When we presented….When the town attorney…  

Davis: He told me what I needed to know.  

Finnell: The town attorney provided you with a background check that was done by Tony Wisely (former Fairland Police Chief) and he wasn’t even employed with Jasper County at the time.   

Davis: Okay.  

Finnell: You were all …I’ll make this all go away is what you said if you can provide a background check and we provided you with a federal background check. 

Davis: That Tony Wisley filled out.  

Davis: That Tony Wisley did.  

Finnell:  You can’t just forge a federal background check  

Davis: I understand how it works. But you can hide stuff and when I asked to see what was in there and he told me no – I know what’s (unintelligible)    

Finnell: He has the right to say no to certain things.  

Richardson, a 26-year career law enforcement officer, passed a federal background check and has been awarded many professional citations.  He resigned in August citing “a hostile work “environment” and “slanderous allegations.”  

“We knew from the beginning this was personal vendetta and he (Davis) never gave the police chief a moment’s peace,” said Lisa Jewett, the former police commissioner.   

Davis’ actions resulted in division among the community and the town’s businesses, she said.  

Jewett called for Davis’ resignation “for the good of the community” and he should pay for the town’s attorney fees associated with the “fraudulent investigation.”    

“Because of his (Davis) personal vendetta we lost a good police chief and the entire police department,” Jewett said.  

When Richardson resigned, eight officers under his leadership resigned, but some officers subsequently returned to the police force.  

Mayor Nick Bowers and town attorney Eric Wade did not respond to email requests seeking a comment.