Tulsa County Commissioners Take No Action On Budget Crisis
TULSA, Oklahoma - Tulsa County Commissioners met Monday morning for the first time since announcing a new acting Tulsa County Sheriff.
Last week, Interim Sheriff Rick Weigel and Chief Deputy John Bowman announced their retirement and Michelle Robinette became Interim Sheriff.
The changes come as the Tulsa County sheriff's Office deals with a budget crisis.
News On 6 learned last week when the retirements were announced that there had been had been heated arguments over the budget involving sheriff's office leadership and at least one county commissioner. County leaders say right now there isn't enough money to pay for operating the jail through the end of the current fiscal year.
Before Weigel announced his retirement he told the commissioners he wanted to use money from the Sheriff's Office Cash Fee Fund to give deputies longevity pay, something deputies say they are owed. But the commissioners suggested Weigel hold onto the money and use it to pay for ongoing and new expenses at the jail.
After Monday's meeting Commissioner Ron Peters said he was surprised Weigel and Bowman announced their retirements so suddenly.
"The biggest priority for me is the mental health issues and to make sure we are building two new pods for the mental health individuals that have issues with that regard. Hopefully get those constructed, so that construction ongoing is the main thing we need to look at," said Commissioner Ron Peters.
The commissioners have acknowledged it is up to the sheriff to decide how to spend the money.