Tulsa City Council Considers Next Move In Struggle With Mayor

Thursday, July 15th 2010, 5:17 pm
By: News On 6

By Ashli Sims, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- In the ongoing battle between Tulsa's city council and its mayor, the council discussed taking disciplinary action against Mayor Dewey Bartlett and his Chief of Staff, Terry Simonson.

Involving a special prosecutor and issuing a vote of no confidence are among the options on the table.

City councilors believe the mayor and his chief of staff may have misled them regarding federal grant money that could have been used to avoid the layoffs of dozens of police officers earlier this year.

"Taxpayer money was spent that really didn't have to be spent," Councilor Bill Christiansen said.

Christiansen went on to say $317,000 was possibly wasted because of "at best incompetency."

The city council met with its attorney Thursday afternoon to discuss a laundry list of options to discipline either the mayor, his chief of staff or both.

7/6/2010 Related Story: Tulsa Mayor, Chief Of Staff Hire Lawyers To Defend Against Accusations Of Lying

The council discussed seven options as outlined by council attorney Drew Rees including: involving a special prosecutor to pursue a criminal case, issuing a vote of no confidence, issuing a public censure, make recommendations to the mayor regarding his chief of staff, Terry Simonson, restrict Simonson's appearances in city council committee meetings, filing a complaint with the bar association against Simonson who is an attorney, and referring the matter to the ethics committee or the city auditor.

The council decided to table the matter for two weeks to give their attorney time to research their options.