Tulsa Sheriff Indicted on Misconduct Charges in Killing by a Deputy

1 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Oklahoma sheriff indicted, plans to resign.

TULSA, Okla. An Oklahoma sheriff was indicted Wednesday by a grand jury called to investigate his office following the fatal shooting of an unarmed man by a volunteer deputy whose training had come into question. Grand jurors indicted Tulsa Sheriff Stanley Glanz on two misdemeanor counts, accusing the longtime sheriff of refusing to perform his official duties for not promptly releasing documents in an internal investigation related to the volunteer deputy, Robert Bates.

Bates’ training and the reserve deputy program came into question after Bates, a 74-year-old former insurance executive, fatally shot Eric Harris as Harris was being restrained by a sheriff’s deputy in April. Glanz says he’s always tried to be transparent during his 27 years as sheriff, and that it greatly affected him to hear that some employees didn’t believe he had an open-door policy.

Glanz’s attorney, Scott Wood, later said the sheriff — who has long refused calls to step down — would resign before a Nov. 10 hearing on the indictments. In his statement Wednesday, Glanz didn’t comment on the charges but said he’d told grand jurors he would step down if they concluded that was best. A local civil rights organizer who helped push for an investigation into the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office says the results of the probe represent a win for residents.

Bates has since left the agency. “We got justice today,” said Lewis, who leads We the People Oklahoma, the group that organized the grand-jury petition drive. “This is a statement to never bet against the citizens, the people of Tulsa County. We are citizens who count, we matter and we make a difference.” The court hearing was called just hours after grand jurors said they had completed their investigation. The grand jury also submitted a list of eight recommendations, including that the sheriff’s office improve its training and documentation, including better accountability of field training hours. The recommendations appeared to address a leaked 2009 memo that alleged top sheriff’s office officials knew Bates was inadequately trained but pressured other officers to look away. But the panel also gave Nightingale several sealed envelopes with its findings, which could include more recommendations or a decision on whether criminal charges are warranted.

The jury also heard from sheriff’s corporal Bill Adams, who called the memo “very accurate,” and said that Glanz could have done more to address its findings. Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Justin Green said Wednesday that deputy Michael Huckeby (huk-uh-BEE) submitted his resignation effective Thursday.

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