Petition Supporters Say Sheriff Is Avoiding Grand Jury Investigation

Thursday, June 25th 2015, 12:04 am
By: News On 6

The Tulsa County Sheriff wants the judge to deny the petition for a grand jury investigation of him and his office.

Wednesday morning, Sheriff Stanley Glanz filed a motion, saying the group behind the petition used an "unauthorized form to collect signatures."

The leader of We The People Oklahoma said the sheriff is just trying to avoid a grand jury.

Months ago, Glanz said he was open to investigation, but there are some who think the opposite after he filed the motion.

The win for We The People and Marq Lewis lasted less than 24 hours.

Tuesday the Tulsa County Election Board verified 6,647 signatures on the petition for a grand jury investigation of the sheriff; Wednesday the sheriff filed a motion to dismiss the petition and deny the investigation.

6/24/2015 Related Story: Tulsa County Sheriff's Office Files Motion To Dismiss Grand Jury Petition

"If you say that you welcome it, why are you hesitating? What do you have to hide? I mean if you've done everything at the sheriff's office legally, what do you have to hide? I mean, the citizens need to know," Lewis said.

In May, the sheriff said he was open for investigation, saying, "As far as a grand jury, that doesn't frighten me at all. I've been through several grand juries through my career."

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In a statement, the sheriff's office reiterated that, saying "The sheriff is neither afraid nor hesitant to appear before a properly called and legally empaneled grand jury."

But the motion said the unauthorized signature form used to collect signatures for the petition was "designed to induce signatures on a document that was not the court-approved grand jury petition."

Lewis wants a grand jury investigation because of comments like the one Glanz made May, when he admitted there are serious problems in his department.

"There were things going on that suppressed a lot of people in the organization and they were afraid to come forward. They were told that if they did, certain things would happen to them," Glanz said.

Now, it's up to a judge to decide whether to convene a grand jury.

"There's a mantra that we say all the time when we're doing rallies, 'They think it's a joke. They think it's a game. My life matters.' And look what's happening, we have done what the law has said we needed to do, and the people in power are saying, 'Oh, it doesn't matter,'" Lewis said.

Judge Rebecca Nightingale will have to decide whether to empanel a grand jury.

We have reached out to the sheriff's office spokesperson but have not heard back at this time.