By Emory Bryan, The News on 6
TULSA, OK -- The Tulsa City Council decided to make a formal ethics complaint against Mayor Dewey Bartlett Thursday night over his use of free legal advice from attorney Joel Wohlgemuth. He's in private practice, but works as a contract attorney for the city.
Wohlgemuth is defending Bartlett against a possible misdemeanor charge of misleading the City Council.
Councilor Rick Westcott compared it to a public works employee getting a free driveway from a road contractor.
"The council, most of us, believe there is an ethics violation. If we believe that, we have a duty to the citizens of Tulsa to send it on to the ethics committee," Westcott said. "We can't just table it, we can't just ignore it."
"A desire to work well with the individual councilors and find the common ground that we all are looking for," Mayor Dewey Bartlett said.The vote by the council came after another brief plea from the mayor to find something they could agree on.
"And I know you and I have had some differences of opinions over the last few months," Councilor GT Bynum told the mayor.
Councilor GT Bynum lobbied his fellow councilors to delay the decision for two weeks, to allow time for talks with the mayor, but that plan failed 6-3.
The council came back united to make the complaint and let the City Auditor decide.
"If there's something there he's going to find it and if there's not, it's cleared up and we don't have to worry about it," Jack Henderson, Tulsa City Councilor, said.