Tulsa City Council Asks State AG To Handle Case Against Mayor Dewey Bartlett

Thursday, July 29th 2010, 4:43 pm
By: News On 6

By Emory Bryan, The News on 6 

TULSA, OK -- The Tulsa City Council wants the state's top prosecutor to review a misdemeanor case against Mayor Dewey Bartlett.           

It's an effort to break a legal stalemate at Tulsa City Hall.

It's uncharted territory for the City Council, which decided Thursday to ask Attorney General Drew Edmondson for advice on what to do next.

In a meeting where councilors complained it was taking too long to finish the case against the mayor, they voted to take another, possibly lengthy step towards a prosecution.

"It could take a long time and it's something we don't have any control over," said Rick Westcott, Council Chair.

The council voted to ask the Attorney General's office for an opinion on how to go forward with prosecuting the Mayor.  They did not make a decision on any other punishment.

"Before the council enters into a discussion of an administrative punishment if you will, I had much rather that we get some kind of finding of fact from an outside third party," Westcott said.

Mayor Bartlett didn't comment about the council's latest decision, except to say, "They've gotten themselves into a pickle and now they don't know how to get out."

The City Legal Department recused itself from the prosecution, with the blessing of the council, but it leaves no one else to advance the case.

"So many larger problems facing Tulsa now," Chris Trail, City Councilor, said.  "This is a very important one, but we've done all we can do."

The council doesn't know if the Attorney General will do anything with their request, or if he doesn't, what to do next, but reconciliation doesn't seem likely as the animosity continues to build.

"Mayor Bartlett continues to say that he wants to work with the city council and out of the other side of this mouth he fires off almost daily salvos at the city council," Westcott said.  "Because of the Mayor, the relationship with the City Council continues to deteriorate."

Mayor Bartlett's attorney argued the council doesn't have the authority to do all this, but Councilor Westcott said they do and said they plan to ignore what the Mayor and his attorney have to say about them.

7/29/10 Related Story: Some Tulsa Citizens Call For Mayor Bartlett's Resignation