Emails Reveal More Debate Over Tulsa City Council Attorney Position

Tuesday, October 5th 2010, 7:55 pm
By: News On 6

By Emory Bryan, The News on 6

TULSA, OKLAHOMA -- A new batch of emails from City Hall reveal more of the internal debate over the validity of a City Council Attorney post that the Mayor argues should not exist.

The emails fill in a gap between paper letters previously published on, which were made available through an open records request for the information.

9/30/2010 Related Story: Tulsa City Council, Mayor Argue Over Council Attorney Position

The emails are between Mayor Dewey Bartlett's attorney, Joel Wohlgemuth, and City Attorney Deirdre Dexter, all in a span of two hours on a Friday afternoon at the end of July.

In the emails, Wohlgemuth argues that Council Attorney Drew Rees is improperly advising the Council while the City Attorney's office has recused from handling an investigation of the administration. Dexter argues Rees is employed by the Council and therefore not subject to the recusal.

In an email, Dexter tells Wohlgemuth "His (Rees) position does not exist on our organization chart, his salary is not paid out of the legal department budget, I do not supervise Mr. Rees nor do I direct his work."

Read the email

Wohlgemuth had sent Dexter an earlier email saying that Rees offering the council advice was in conflict with Dexter's recusal.

The City Council contends that Rees works for them, not Dexter, and not under the authority of Mayor Bartlett.

Bartlett has sent Rees several letters, including a new one October 4th, asking Rees to provide him the authority under which he works. The City Council Chair, Rick Westcott, has written the Mayor several letters demanding he stop contacting Rees.

Read Mayor Bartlett's letter to Drew Rees

In a separate development, Dexter has resigned her position effective in December.