Judge Denies Request To Seal Names On Petition To Investigate TCSO

Friday, June 19th 2015, 4:14 pm

By: News On 6

A judge denied the request to seal names and addresses of people who signed a petition calling for a Grand Jury investigation into the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office and its sheriff, Stanley Glanz.

We The People started the petition after Reserve Deputy Bob Bates shot and killed Eric Harris.

Special Coverage: TCSO Reserve Deputy Shooting Controversy

The group surpassed the required number of 5,000 signatures saying they have more than 8,000 and requested the names and addresses be sealed, but that request was denied.

6/9/2015 Related Story: Group Pushing For Investigation Into TCSO Collects Enough Signatures

Each signature must be verified by the Tulsa County Election Board, ensuring that at least 5,000 of the signatures collected belong to people living in Tulsa County.

The Tulsa County Sheriff's Office is questioning the legality of the signatures, saying free food was advertised to would-be signees on a flier.

6/12/2015 Related Story: Tulsa Sheriff's Office Questions Legality Of Grand Jury Petition Signatures

Sheriff's office spokesman Terry Simonson cited a state law prohibiting offering anything of value to influence a person's signature. He says no complaints have been filed by the agency against the group collecting signatures.

'We The People' released a statement saying, in part, "The hotdogs were a community event we sponsored for everyone in Tulsa County and to thank our volunteers. Hotdogs were given to anyone who wanted one including children, the homeless, people not registered to vote, people who were new to the state and even a few stray dogs...

"To suggest we were paying for signatures with ketchup, mustard and ballpark franks shows that the representatives of the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office are afraid of the community coming together in an effort to seek out the truth."

You can read the full statement here.

News On 6 reporter Melissa Hawkes is working on this story and will have updated during our newscasts.


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