Arguments Over TCSO Grand Jury Heard At State Supreme Court

Tuesday, July 14th 2015, 11:43 pm
By: News On 6

Oklahoma Supreme Court justices will make the final decision on whether the Tulsa County sheriff will face a grand jury.

Stanley Glanz has filed two motions to stop the investigation, and Tuesday, both sides went to court in Oklahoma City to make their arguments.

The sheriff filed the motion with the state supreme court and his attorney said the way We The People Oklahoma got the petition signatures was "corruption of the process."

Now, the nine justices will decide whether to stop the grand jury.

Glanz took his fight from Tulsa to the highest court in the state, and behind closed doors, a state Supreme Court referee heard arguments in the sheriff's motion to prohibit a grand jury investigation of him and his office.

The sheriff's attorney in the case, James McCann, argued that We The People Oklahoma did the petition wrong by having "stand alone" signature forms that were not attached to the actual petition.

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Tulsa District Judge Rebecca Nightingale already ordered the grand jury, despite the argument, saying she'd accept the substance of the petition over its form. However, sheriff spokesperson Terry Simonson said that's breaking state statute.

“That's all they would've had to have done is said, 'This is an attachment to the petition. It's enclosed. Please read it before you sign it so you're fully aware of what you're signing.' How hard would that have been," he said.

McCann argued it should be "the very substance of the law…[the] court should be looking for."

But We The People Oklahoma attorney Laurie Phillips said her client, Marq Lewis, couldn't afford to spend thousands of dollars adding a petition to each signature form.

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"Going back with their interpretation, even if you had attached the signature page per petition, that's over 16,000 pieces of paper at 20 cents a copy. That's over $3,000," she said.

Phillips also said the statute doesn't require forms be attached, saying the statute says signatures should be upon the petition.

"But a word does make a big difference. Attached was not in the statutes anywhere, the word upon was. What does that mean? You know, Webster's is it means close by," Phillips said.

The judges can take their time deciding, but the grand jury is scheduled to be impaneled next week.