Monday, May 16, 2011

OHP did NOT tell Nowata County sheriff to withhold information

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol didn't order the Nowata County Sheriff's Office to withhold from the public the bail amount or the mugshot of a man arrested and jailed in connection with a hit-and-run fatality, contrary to what was reported a week ago.

Last Monday, the Tulsa World said Nowata County Sheriff’s Sgt. Donald Lynn declined to release the bail amount or a mugshot of Roy Dale Cheatham, 46, of Delaware, Okla., upon orders of the OHP local division.

But Tulsa World news editor Mike Strain said that turned out not to be the situation.

According to Strain, OHP Capt. Chris West told the newspaper that no such order was issued and, indeed, that the Highway Patrol doesn't have any authority over that information.

Meanwhile, Nowata County Sheriff's officials told the newspaper there had been a misunderstanding and released the information Tuesday, Strain said Wednesday.

Joey Senat, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
OSU School of Media & Strategic Communications

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