Tulsa County will appeal the verdict in the Tulsa County Jail rape federal trial.
A former inmate who was 17 at the time said she was repeatedly sexually assaulted by a former jail employee. She accused former Tulsa County Sheriff Stanley Glanz of creating an environment that allowed it to happen and the jury found in her favor last week.
Commissioners voted Monday, March 7, 2016, to appeal that decision. A spokesperson for the county will say only that the appeal will go to the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
The plaintiff’s attorney, Dan Smolen, released a statement, saying, in part, “We were disappointed to learn that the Board of County Commissioners has approved an appeal… Any appeal of that verdict, which was based on a significant evidentiary record, has little chance of success.”
The statement goes on to say, “It is time for [commissioners] to accept the uncomfortable truth that the last years of Sheriff Glanz’s regime were a total disaster…[commissioners] should focus on compensating the victims and moving the county forward.”
Glanz’s attorney, Clark Brewster, told our partner, The Frontier, that he doesn’t think Glanz was deliberately indifferent, saying, “I don’t think the jury bought into that she was being raped down there.”
Brewster also says, “Frankly, I don’t think there’s a high degree of probability of this verdict” surviving an appeal.
The county has spent $400,000 on legal fees in cases against the sheriff’s office since April, when former reserve deputy Bob Bates shot and killed suspected illegal gun dealer Eric Harris. About $180,000 of that has been spent on Brewster’s legal fees. The jury in the federal trial awarded the plaintiff, LaDona Poore, $25,000 in damages, to be paid with taxpayer money.
The county is expected to pay the plaintiff’s legal fees, because the jury found in her favor. A spokesperson for Smolen’s office says that could amount to high six-figures.