Bartlett Blasts Taylor Campaign For Hiring Tracker To Follow Him
TULSA, Oklahoma - Mayor Dewey Bartlett's neighbors recently called the police to report someone following him. It turned out to be a man hired by the Kathy Taylor campaign.
He told police he had been following Bartlett for two weeks.
Former Mayor Kathy Taylor confirmed she's had someone following Mayor Bartlett, and defended it, primarily by saying she thinks people are following her, too.
Bartlett said Taylor crossed the line by hiring someone to follow him.
"Whether to my headquarters or my office, or my home, that's simply not right. We don't do that in Tulsa, and for her say that's normal? That's certainly not normal in my campaign," Bartlett said.
Jack Hardwick, 23, of Norman, is the man who was hired to follow the Tulsa Mayor. He's been at campaign and public events for a couple of weeks.
Bartlett said he noticed someone following him and his neighbors saw the car parked outside his house.
"My neighbors had seen him doing the same thing for several days in a row, and they were scared, they called the police," Bartlett said.
Police responded and their report shows Hardwick was hired to follow the unscheduled movements of Mayor Dewey Bartlett for Kathy Taylor, and that he had been watching Bartlett's residence for several days.
"He's an intern, with us, he's an intern," Taylor said.
She confirmed Hardwick works for her, but downplayed the significance of it.
"I have people sitting out in front of my house all the time," Taylor said. "I don't go take their license plates, I don't call. I have people come take things from trash all the time, I don't call. Unless someone threatens my life, I don't file a police report."
But Taylor said she uses the information Hardwick gathers.
"We have a campaign staff and what we want to do is accurately respond to anything that Mayor Bartlett says," Taylor said.
Bartlett said, if someone is following Taylor, they don't work for him.
"No, absolutely not. We don't do that sort of stuff, going in someone's trash, that sort of stuff. No, we don't do that," Bartlett said.
The man who was following Bartlett was not arrested, just interviewed by police to determine why he had been outside the mayor's house.
The Taylor campaign said late Monday it was normal campaign activity, and said Hardwick still works for Taylor as an intern. An intern or staffer will continue to listen to Mayor Bartlett's comments at public events.
The campaign released this statement:
"We have several jobs interns perform throughout the campaign. Most of them very entry level and this was a case of a young student performing one of those tasks. Part of his job is keeping an accurate accounting of remarks made by the mayor during this campaign. This is a standard campaign function and in no way is it used for intimidation. At no time have any of our interns disrespected or even approached Dewey Bartlett, his staff or anyone associated with his team. Again this is normal campaign activity.
"On the other hand, just today, Dewey Bartlett sent a staffer to an official press conference of ours today with the intention of disrupting a important discussion on crime in our city, showing once again that there is nothing this mayor won't do to distract citizens from the rising crime rates in our city.
"All of our employees, including this campaign intern, are told to always be transparent and honest about their identity and affiliation with the campaign."
Both candidates will appear on Six In The Morning on Tuesday for a live debate. Tune in to News On 6 or log on to newson6.com at 7 a.m. to watch.