Tulsa County Sheriff's Office Files Motion To Dismiss Grand Jury Petition

Wednesday, June 24th 2015, 12:33 pm
By: Richard Clark

The Tulsa County Sheriff's Office filed a motion to dismiss a petition calling for a grand jury investigation of his office.

The moves comes a day after the Tulsa County Election Board announced it had verified enough signatures on the petition for it to move forward.

The group "We the People" launched the petition drive after the April shooting death of Eric Harris by Reserve Deputy Bob Bates.

Sheriff Stanley Glanz said he welcomes an investigation but isn't sure the group followed the law during the petition process.

In its motion to dismiss the petition, the Sheriff's Office says the group did not get signatures on the actual petition that was approved by the judge. Instead, it argues, the group used a "stand-alone Signature Form, calling it the Petition." It calls that form "unapproved, inaccurate, and misleading."

6/23/2015: Related Story: Harris Family Happy With Investigation Approval, But Hoping For More

Harris' brother talked exclusively with News On 6 reporter Allison Harris on Tuesday.

He told her even though people doubted they could get the signatures needed, he believes his brother's death will shine a light on what he calls corruption in the sheriff's office that dates back to a special investigation in 2009

Terry Simonson, spokesperson for the Sheriff's Office, released a statement about the motion Wednesday morning:

"Today the Sheriff has challenged the process used by the Petitioner. He believes they have not followed either the letter or intent of the laws governing grand juries in Oklahoma.

The Sheriff is neither afraid nor hesitant to appear before a properly called and legally empaneled grand jury. However, at this point, that has not occurred. Those circulating the Petition to empanel a grand jury did not follow the laws of the State of Oklahoma.

The grand jury laws in Oklahoma protect the citizens of Oklahoma from being subjected to frivolous actions.

For the legal system to work and citizen rights to be protected, Oklahoma laws on how to empanel a grand jury must be followed. It is clear in this case the law was not followed.

As would anyone who respects the law, the Sheriff is challenging the process used by the Petitioners. They have not followed the law therefore their petition should be ruled on in accordance with state statutes."

Special Coverage: TCSO Reserve Deputy Shooting Controversy

A Tulsa District judge will convene a grand jury within a month unless the sheriff's motion is granted.