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Comanche city manager surprised by firing

COMANCHE, Okla._The former city manager for the Town of Comanche is speaking out about his recent firing.

The Comanche City Council voted 3-0 last week to fire Wilt Brown during a special meeting that was called solely to discuss his future with the city. The city clerk was named to serve as acting city manager. Following the vote to fire Brown, the mayor and vice mayor resigned their positions in protest. 

Brown said even though the announcement caught him by surprise, it was not totally unexpected. He says for a couple of months now, he and Councilwoman Janice Willis, who's now the acting mayor, have had some disagreements on what's best for Comanche.

"I think it's a shame that one person can take a vendetta like that and make it come to pass," Brown said.

Brown says the Comanche City Council's decision to let him go was handled all wrong.

"The American way is if you're accused of something, you have the chance to defend yourself. I was not given that opportunity. I've not had the opportunity to be heard," Brown said.

Brown was not able to attend that special meeting because he was in the hospital being treated for pneumonia. A city official called him and told him the council had voted to fire him.

"I've not done anything dishonest, money is in good shape, we have a wonderful clerk who keeps up, we are in good shape there. I thought my reputation in the community was good," Brown said.

Right now, Brown says there is only one word that describes the way he feels.

"Disappointment I guess is the best word. I thought we were doing a good job, we were totally dedicated to the job," he said.

For four years, Brown has prided himself on the difference he felt he was making within the Comanche community.

"The main thing I wanted to do was get some businesses here, which we did. Not just me, it was everybody, everybody working together," Brown said.

Brown says even though he is no longer the city manager, Comanche is still the place he calls home.

"I'm not going to leave this home I want to stay here, it's ours, it's paid for," he said.

We reached out to Janice Willis, the acting mayor, but she did not want to speak on camera. The acting city manager also did not want to speak on camera.

Brown will receive three months of severance pay.

Brown says other than retiring, he will look into other possibilities to be a part the city and look into other city manager openings.

In a special meeting Monday night, the Comanche City Council appointed Janice Willis as the mayor and Sandra McCord as vice mayor. They will fill the vacancies created when the previous office holders resigned last week in protest over Brown's firing. They will both will hold those positions for the next four years.

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