Crane County Deputy No Longer On the Job

by Victor Lopez
NewWest 9

CRANE COUNTY--A Crane County deputy, who got a lot of unwanted attention for arresting an Oklahoma storm chaser, is no longer on the job.

That arrest created a lot of controversy.   But it's not clear if it cost the deputy his job.

Brian Barnes was arrested on May 6th, while he says he was doing his job.

When word got out, Jeffrey Ellison,  the deputy who arrested him, was no longer a Crane County Sheriff's Deputy, he had this to say,  "I am glad Crane County Commissioners have taken the appropriate action to correct the deputy's unlawful actions.  I hope he was let go without a severance package."

The streets of Crane haven't exactly been buzzing with news.  In fact, people we spoke to didn't even know that Ellison had been terminated.

But Dennis Greer, from McCamey, says also he had a run in with Ellison on May 6th, and he has mixed reactions on the situation, "They didn't necessarily have to fire him.  Maybe they had problems with him before, so maybe they did need to fire him, I don't know. "

The exact reason behind Ellison's unemployment is not known. Crane County Sheriff, Robert DeLeon issued a statement of own in which he cites "personal matters."

Dennis Greer says he keeps in contact with Barnes, who tells him this experience won't keep him out of Crane County, "I've talked to him several times.  I talked to him earlier.  He's not going to avoid Crane.  He says Crane has got some of the friendliest folks he's ever met, and he still agrees with that."

Although some storm chasers who have contacted us have vowed to stay away, Greer hopes they'll change their mind, "I hope people just don't let one bad apple ruin the whole barrel.  Crane is a good town. There's a lot of friendly people there."

We contacted Barnes's attorney, Marie Galindo of Midland, and she said, "We are in the process of gathering facts.   We are eager to vindicate Mr. Barnes, but it would be premature to specifically comment at this time."