Undersheriff To Take Over Duties At Tulsa County Sheriff's Office

Thursday, October 1st 2015, 6:21 pm
By: News On 6

Thursday, the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office called a news conference for the first time since the grand jury investigating the office convened.

They didn't take questions but made an announcement about the new man in charge.

Undersheriff Rick Weigel thanked the members of the grand jury and said the rank and file of the department never faltered in their commitment to the community; but now, the department has a long list of changes to tackle.

Special Coverage: TCSO Reserve Deputy Shooting Controversy

The news conference at the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office lasted just two minutes Thursday. It was held hours after Sheriff Stanley Glanz was arraigned in court on two misdemeanor charges for willful violation of the law and refusal to perform official duty.

The indictments accuse Glanz of taking a monthly stipend for county travel, but using his own car, and for not releasing internal investigation documents.

Glanz will be back in court November 10th, on the charges and said he will resign before then.

"It is no secret that the agency has suffered a setback in regard to public confidence," Weigel said.

The undersheriff led the briefing and gave a major announcement regarding the leadership of the office.

"I have assumed the responsibilities and duties from the sheriff," he said.

And with those duties, Weigel said he'll implement recommendations made by the grand jury.

Some recommendations seem easy - like, adhere to policies.

Others, more complex; one suggesting that anyone absent from law enforcement five years or more should complete the full application process before regaining status as a deputy.

10/1/2015 Related Story: Tulsa County Sheriff Arraigned On Misdemeanor Indictments

Another suggests better accountability for training hours, and a committee to make sure training records are complete.

The grand jury also recommended records travel with deputies when they transfer within the department and be signed off on.

Weigel said, "We want to reassure the community that we see this current situation as an opportunity to redirect ourselves and redefine our objectives and priorities as to how we can best serve Tulsa County."

Deputies told News On 6 that transfers are now being made within the department, although the sheriff's office denies that.

Chief Deputy John Bowman, who testified before the grand jury and stood behind the undersheriff Thursday, said he's taking October off and will decide whether to retire in November.

The grand jury had two more recommendations for the sheriff's office.

One was to make the internal affairs department separate from the department, and two, to create an anonymous way for deputies to report problems.