Art Lawler Staff Writer email@example.com
Ada — Local firefighter Jason Smeltz was officially dismissed from the Ada Fire Department Wednesday morning, according to Ada Fire Chief Marion Harris, following incidents in late April at a traffic stop involving Smeltz’s wife.
“I really can’t tell you anything for legal reasons and because this is a personnel issue,” Harris said. He did confirm that Smeltz had been fired for making threatening statements toward a police officer on Facebook the day following his wife’s arrest.
Since then, Smeltz has been arrested and faces possible felony charges if a judge finds probable cause to try him in a court-of-law during a June hearing.
Smeltz is free on a $5,000 bond but faces a June hearing in District Court for allegedly inflicting fear on a police officer during an arrest.
Harris said Smeltz shook hands with him Wednesday morning and thanked him for the opportunity to work as a firefighter for the last 11 years in Ada.
Smeltz’s wife had been pulled over and arrested on suspicion of public intoxication in late April.
The relatively minor offense grew larger when Smeltz allegedly interfered with officer Brad Rhoads and, according to the report, was asked on 21 different occasions to get back into his truck.
Police have video evidence of Mr. Smeltz’s conduct and alleged verbal abuse, and of the officers' requests for Smeltz to get back into his truck and stop interfering with an arrest.
The Ada News and other news agencies have asked for a copy of the video to be placed on web pages so residents can see for themselves exactly what was said at the road stop. City Attorney Frank Stout has advised city personnel not to release the video to the media.
The law protects government organizations from releasing some personnel and litigation documents. Smeltz was, and Rhoads is, a city employee, which could make this an internal personnel issue.