TULSA, OK -- The corruption investigation into the Tulsa Police Department has taken a dramatic turn.
Tulsa Police Chief Chuck Jordan has forbidden all employees of the department from having contact with anyone other than "Federal Law Enforcement Officers or Prosecutors" regarding the investigation.
Five current or former Tulsa police officers are accused of corruption in the case. Jane Duke, the U.S. Attorney for eastern Arkansas, is prosecuting the case.
The directive was in the form of a Departmental Order issued on Wednesday, and The News On 6 obtained a copy of it through an open records request.
In it the chief tells police employees that his order "includes conducting investigations, surveillance, pursuing leads or making contact with informants, witnesses or others. Any exceptions to the above prohibition shall require the express consent of the Chief of Police or designee."
It's not clear what prompted the chief to issue the order. In it Jordan says the prohibition is not intended to stop internal discussion of the investigation. However, the prohibition would seem to preclude the department from furnishing defense attorneys with information that could possibly clear their clients.
The order also directs employees to inform the chief if they're contacted by someone wanting to provide information on the corruption case, but to take no further action "without the express consent of the Chief or designee."
The chief goes on to say that any request for department records or other information on the case must be immediately referred to his office, and "this includes information demanded by subpoena or discovery request."
A spokeswoman for Duke said the U.S. Attorney had no comment except to refer The News On 6 Chief Jordan.