Emory Bryan, News On 6
TULSA, Oklahoma – The Tulsa City Council voted to accept a million-dollar offer from a prominent Tulsa attorney to defend the city against lawsuits, for free.
Mayor Dewey Bartlett and the City Council agreed to take the deal from the firm of Brewster and De Angelo.
Attorney Clark Brewster met with the City Council Tuesday morning. The council voted to accept the donation, which includes all the legal fees but not other expenses such as expert witnesses and travel.
"The citizens of Tulsa are going to get the best defense possible and we don't have to pay the attorney fees," said Tulsa City Councler Rick Westcott.
The city legal department estimates the offer will save the city more than a million dollars in fees it would otherwise pay to defend lawsuits against the police department.
"It will easily surpass a million dollars, especially when you consider that it's Clark and several members of his team, which he's committed to putting on the cases, so it's big," said Terry Simonson, Mayor's General Counsel.
Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett recused himself from the decision, leaving it up to his general counsel Terry Simonson, because of a potential conflict of interest between Bartlett and Brewster.
Bartlett said he has years ago made an offer to drill for oil on Brewsters land, an offer which was not accepted.
Brewster says his firm will go to work immediately defending the cases, which he predicted will take several years to resolve.
He believes the city is in a good position to win the cases, and said he doesn't expect to settle any of them.
"And we look forward to getting right in the middle of these cases," Brewster said.
Three cases have already been filed and Brewster says a fourth one is coming, but he told the council he believed a strong defense of the first cases could prevent other ones from being filed.