A Ward 2 Tahlequah City Council candidate confirmed he is withdrawing from the February election, although his name will remain on the ballot.
Gary Cacy contacted City Clerk DeAnna Hammons Tuesday and said he wanted to withdraw. Hammons said she spoke with the election board and was told Cacy’s name will still be on the ballot for the nonpartisan election.
“He never really said why,” Hammons said. “Before I hung up, I asked if he was sure he wanted to do this, and he said he did.”
Cherokee County Election Board Secretary Tiffany Rozell said Cacy should have withdrawn last Thursday or Friday.
“My hands are tied because the ballots were sent Friday after 5 p.m.; all of the paperwork was sent to the state,” Rozell said. “It’s up to him if he wants to tell people that [he quit the race], or just not campaign, but it’s up to him.”
Cacy told the Daily Press he decided to withdraw after his character and reputation were questioned.
“I had requested to withdraw because after almost 10 years of service to the sheriff’s office, eight years of service to the Planning and Zoning Commission, 16 years of volunteer service to the Tahlequah Fire Department, Tahlequah Leadership Class of 23, and numerous other volunteer-civil service to the city of Tahlequah," Cacy said. "My character and my reputation were immediately being questioned from day one of the campaign, and I didn’t want to go through that. I didn’t think I deserved it, and if I wasn't going to be appreciated for my willingness to come forward to serve the city, I didn’t want to proceed.”
District Attorney Jack Thorp confirmed there was an internal investigation involving Cacy and another Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office employee six years ago. The allegations were disputed and charges were never filed.
“You’re talking about a personnel matter with the sheriff’s office. I do represent them and I’m leaving it up to [Sheriff] Jason [Chennault] to respond,” Thorp said. “I will say I was aware of an investigation in 2014 that had been turned over to my office."
Chennault also confirmed an internal investigation had led to Cacy’s departure from CCSO.