Tulsa Mayor Kicked Out Of City Council Meeting

Thursday, June 17th 2010, 5:55 pm
By: News On 6

By Emory Bryan, The News On 6  

TULSA, OK -- Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett accused the Tulsa City Council of violating the City Charter Thursday by not allowing him into an executive session discussing the investigation of his Chief of Staff, Terry Simonson.

6/15/2010 Related Story: Tulsa City Council Could Take Action Thursday On Results Of Simonson Investigation

Bartlett was asked to leave the meeting when it started Thursday afternoon. He then consulted with the City Attorney who told him he should be allowed into the meeting.

Bartlett said Council Attorney Drew Rees told him he would have to leave the meeting, but refused to explain why. Bartlett said he was told he would get a copy of their report "sometime later" and only after some of the contents had been redacted.

The council has accused Terry Simonson of lying to them about a federal grant that is being used to pay police officer salaries, in particular whether the Justice Department required police officers to be laid off before the federal government would pay their salaries.

Simonson told the council it was a requirement, but it was not.

Mayor Bartlett's actions and statements are also part of the inquiry. He met with the investigator last week.

"I don't know, I think it will vindicate Terry Simonson," Mayor Bartlett told the News On 6 just before Thursday's meeting. "They'll find he didn't lie like was alleged and I think it will be fine."

The council ended their meeting around 5 p.m. Thursday.  They plan to meet again with the investigator on Tuesday. 

The Tulsa city council is not releasing the report.