City employee suspended

Worker allowed people into concert’s restricted VIP area for free

The Read Southall band performs at the 2019 Rock the Route concert.(Photo by Cara Pattison)

By Mindy Ragan Wood
Staff Writer

A city employee has been disciplined for allowing unauthorized people to access a paid section of the Rock the Route concert last month.

City officials confirmed a male employee allowed several people to enter the VIP access area free of charge. Guests paid $50 per ticket.

“I can tell you the employee was suspended and without pay for a period of time,” City Manager Jim Crosby said. “They will no longer be allowed to work any city events.”

He said city officials are trying to determine if other city employees were involved.

Prior to Crosby’s comments, city staff declined to provide several details about the situation. City spokeswoman Jenna Roberson declined to talk about the disciplinary actions.

The number of people who gained access was unclear and Roberson said she did not know if they were coworkers or friends.

When asked how many employees were suspended, Roberson said, “it’s my understanding just one.”

When pressed for further information about the actions taken, Roberson required an Open Records Request.

The Yukon Progress sent the request. The Oklahoma Open Records Act states that a public body “may keep personnel records confidential” if it poses an unwarranted invasion of privacy.

However, Oklahoma State Statute Title 51, section B, subsection 4 requires personnel records to be public in certain circumstances. It states that if the request does not fall under provided exemptions, personnel records “shall be made available for public inspections,” especially when “any final disciplinary action resulting in loss of pay, suspension, demotion of position, or termination” occurs.

The city chose to keep the record confidential. However, the request did not seek the identity of the employee, but rather the actions that were taken.