Judge Asked To Stop Vote On Tulsa City Attorney Position

Wednesday, December 22nd 2010, 7:31 am
By: News On 6

Emory Bryan, News on 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- A lawsuit has been filed against the Tulsa City Council over their effort to make the City Attorney an elected official. The plaintiffs want the court to stop a public vote on changing the position from an appointed to elected post.

Read the lawsuit

James Goodwin and Clay Davis are the plaintiffs in the case against the members of the City Council, and the Tulsa County Election Board. The Election Board is included because it will conduct the vote, unless the court intervenes.

In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs claim that shifting the position would diminish the powers of the Mayor as defined by the Charter and create an elected position that would be controlled by the budgetary powers of the City Council.

The City Attorney is currently appointed by the Mayor. Mayor Dewey Bartlett appointed a new Interim City Attorney, David Pauling, on December 1, 2010.

The proposed change would convert it to an elected position with a two year term.

The suit follows a letter to the Council from Pauling warning that their actions could provoke a challenge through the courts.

Read Pauling's Letter to the City Council

The Council passed a resolution to set an election for changing the charter to make add the elected position. Mayor Dewey Bartlett vetoed the resolution. The council voted to override the Mayor's veto, which set up the planned February vote on the charter change.

The plaintiffs are asking judge to order the Council to rescind the resolution and order the Election Board to halt the planned vote.

12/9/2010 Related Story: Tulsa City Council, Mayor Settle Dispute Over City Attorney Position, For Now

12/8/2010 Related Story: Tulsa Mayor, City Council Divided Over City Attorney Position