Acting Sheriff, Robinette, Not Violating State Law, Tulsa DA Says
TULSA COUNTY, Oklahoma - Acting Sheriff Michelle Robinette is not violating state statute for living outside Tulsa County, according to the Tulsa County District Attorney’s Office.
Both members of the D.A.’s office and the sheriff's office general counsel agree that because Robinette has not been elected and is not serving as sheriff, but as interim sheriff, she is not violating the law.
Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler said, "My office determined that there is nothing improper with Michelle Robinette being appointed as Undersheriff and serving in her capacity until a new sheriff is elected."
Robinette has not addressed the public since being named acting sheriff, after former acting sheriff Rick Weigel and Chief Deputy John Bowman announced their retirements Tuesday.
A TCSO spokesperson says Robinette will address deputies before releasing a statement Wednesday evening.
We've requested an interview with Robinette who said she will speak with us at a later date.
Robinette did send an email to the office, in it she says:
“Our office has gone through much change lately and as such we have suffered through the stress of uncertainty and the unknown. With the events of yesterday, we once again are having to endure the stress of situational change. For that I am deeply sorry.
“As the Acting Sheriff, I want to return to the basics, to get back to doing what we do best; taking care of each other and serving the citizens’ of Tulsa County.
“We start by following our policies, as they were meant to be and holding everyone accountable, as it should have been. There will be no movement in the administrative staff of the Office, as I will rely on Major Kitch and Major Lillard to assist with the day to day operations of the office and Chief Financial Officer Christina Morrison with the financial piece.
“It has been mentioned in the media that there may be a reduction in the staff at the jail, I have no plans to do so. We will review personnel in comparison with the budget and do what we can to alleviate some of the financial issues raised by the BOCC and the TCCIA, but reducing the staff is not the solution.
“What happens with the BOCC does not affect what you do; you continue to do your jobs with the professionalism and integrity that you have maintained since all of this began.
“We have heard many people say that we need to instill or regain the integrity, honesty and pride of this Office, I do not think that it ever left. You are the reason this Office functions and I have witnessed you continue to perform your duties with pride and integrity. I ask that you continue doing just that so that when the new Sheriff takes his seat, he will see that the people of this Office are what makes it what it is.
“Although we will undergo another change in just a few short months I know that if we can take care of and support each other and continue serving the citizens of Tulsa County as we always have, the Office will maintain regardless of the changes to come.”