Tulsa City Attorney And Chief Deputy Suspended By Mayor

Tuesday, November 21st 2006, 10:53 am
By: News On 6

He is the city of Tulsa top lawyer and he's temporarily at least off the job. Tulsa’s mayor has suspended Alan Jackere and his chief deputy Larry Simmons, both for unspecified reasons and both with pay.

News on 6 reporter Emory Bryan says Mayor Kathy Taylor isn't commenting on why and Jackere says he was given no reason. He said Tuesday, "I've worked for the city a long time, have enjoyed my public service and I hope it continues."

City Councilor John Eagleton says the suspension might be connected to the pair's handling of the Arvin McGee case. "The McGee matter was flubbed from the beginning to the end. It was finally resolved on terms that were far more expensive for the city than if the matter had been dealt with professionally when the lawsuit was filed, or even before the lawsuit was filed."

McGee's lawsuit over his wrongful conviction ended with a $12-million judgment against the city. At trial, the city called no witnesses and was accused of offering a poor defense. Jackere has served as city attorney since July 2004, appointed to the job by former Mayor Bill LaFortune.

The McGee case was handled by his deputy and the judgment agreed on just after Mayor Taylor took office. John Eagleton: "And the city should have been held accountable as it was." But Councilor Eagleton says the case could have been settled before trial for a million dollars, instead of $12-million, when the city was obviously at risk of losing the case, especially with a less than vigorous defense. "The city is sued all the time and I do not expect a lawyer to roll over and play dead every time someone files a lawsuit, I expect the city to put up a zealous fight and protect the assets."