Cameron D. Arthur was appointed the new chief of police for the city of Jenks effective August 23, 2011, and the appointment has brought up questions and allegations regarding his past.
In the week following Arthur’s appointment, Tulsa area television newscasts presented stories regarding several allegations of corruption during his tenure as police chief in Galena, Kansas. During an interview with Fox23 News in Tulsa, he spoke about his time heading the Galena department.
“If you look at those you also have to say that no one was ever charged,” said Arthur, “no one was ever convicted, there was never anything, other than exonerations because the officers and I were always doing our job and that’s the bottom line.”
“All of these rumors, innuendos, googling and so forth that would go with it that you guys would have, just as other people would have certain assumptions of who I might be, It’s not the same when you meet me. I am not that person.”
Googling – a simple internet search – returns a number of articles that include Arthur’s activities: He is a 23 year veteran of law enforcement, started his career in 1988 in Nebraska and spent time as a patrol officer in Kansas City, a year with the DEA, and as second commander in Breckinridge, Co. Most recently Arthur was executive director of security of an ITT college in Indiana.
He was the police chief of Galena from 2000 until his firing in 2003.
No information has been made available regarding his dismissal at Galena, although City Manager Jamie Bell said at the time it was “based on recent developments, not old developments.” According to Bell, a lawsuit filed by Arthur over his dismissal resulted in a six-figure out-of-court settlement.
Galena resident Sereana Gilmore alleged in 2000 that Arthur punched her in the kidney when responding to a domestic dispute at her home. She was charged in city court with battery.
Allegations of excessive force arose after the April 2003 suspected drug arrest of Alberto Reyes that resulted in a broken arm, which Arthur and the Kansas Bureau of Investigation blamed on the suspect’s resisting arrest.
Staff writer Roger McKinney of the Joplin Globe reported in October, 2003, that Galena resident Jo an Whittington filed a formal complaint alleging that Arthur entered her home without a search warrant or her consent on Oct. 9, 2003 and held her in handcuffs for several hours while a search warrant was obtained. Whittington was not arrested or charged with any crime.
The biggest questions, however, revolve around the death of Ottawa County, Oklahoma private investigator Jim Potts, who was hired in June of 2003 by attorney Roger Johnson to investigate the charges of police brutality against the Galena police department and Chief Arthur.
On August 26, 2003 Potts was found dead on the side of the highway just south of Galena with a bullet wound behind the right ear.
The lead investigator in the case was former Galena officer, Cherokee County Sheriff’s deputy Sean Putnam, a friend of Cameron Arthur, who ruled Potts’ death a suicide.
“I do not trust him,” said Carolyn Potts of the investigating officer. “[My husband] was adamant against suicide. I thought about it and I thought about, and I thought – no, there was just nothing pointing to suicide. My own personal belief? He was murdered.”
The case broadened when the body of Sean Putnam was discovered in a shallow grave in early February 2011, in Wichita, Kansas. Two of Putnam’s roommates have been charged with murder in the case and say the death may have resulted from a dispute over drugs or money.