We The People Wants Investigation Into TPD Practice Of 'Buying Rank'

Thursday, March 24th 2016, 11:50 am
By: News On 6

Members of We The People of Oklahoma are calling on city of Tulsa officials to investigate what the group calls a "breach of ethics violation" in the Tulsa Police Department concerning the decades-old practice of "buying rank."

Marq Lewis held a news conference Thursday to announce he’s making a formal complaint after the News On 6 and The Frontier investigation that first reported on the practice.

"It is our understanding that each year officers complete written and verbal tests in order for a competitive pool of candidates to be found for top positions such as major or sergeant," Lewis said.

"To avoid retaking the test each year, some officers  use the influence of money to induce superiors to retire early."

3/17/2016 Related Story: TPD Practice Of 'Buying Rank:' Is It Legal?

An officer who has qualified for promotion may pay a supervisor to retire early, offering from $20,000 to $50,000 to clear the way for him or her to move up, our investigation shows.

Lewis said the practice violates the city's ethics code which says public officials cannot participate in any city business in which they have a related personal, financial or organizational interest.

"We don't want this to just go under the rug," he said.

We have reached out to the mayor and city attorney again and hope to hear from them in tonight's newscasts. Keep checking back to this story for more.