Screen Shot 2015-12-16 at 5.07.56 PM

This story was produced as part of a partnership between The Frontier and NewsOn6.

As reporters hounded the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office last year about the 2009 investigation into Reserve Deputy Robert Bates, top officials frantically looked for the document and came up empty handed.

That was one of many revelations in more than 300 pages of testimony before a grand jury last year that investigated allegations of wrongdoing within the sheriff’s office.

Grand juries meet in secret and their testimony is secret. However the partial transcript became public record when the Tulsa County District Attorney’s Office requested portions of it as part of the criminal case against former Sheriff Stanley Glanz.

The grand jury indicted Glanz on two misdemeanors: instructing his subordinates to “hold on” to the Bates IA investigation, and taking a vehicle stipend while driving a county-owned vehicle.

Glanz resigned in November and is awaiting trial on the charges.

Bates, a wealthy reserve deputy and longtime friend of Glanz, was serving on a TCSO task force April 2 when he killed Eric Harris, whom the sheriff’s office had targeted in a gun sting. Bates, who has since been charged with second-degree manslaughter, said he meant to use his Taser on Harris but drew his gun instead, shooting Harris once under the right arm.

Former Reserve Deputy Robert Bates

Former Reserve Deputy Robert Bates

Ironically, the sheriff’s office desire in 2009 to keep the investigation into Bates secret may come back to bite Glanz.

His attorney, Scott Wood, has sought to get the charge related to the Bates report — refusal to perform official duty — dropped, claiming it is an internal affairs document not subject to Oklahoma’s Open Records act.

Prosecutors have argued against that, and in the now-public grand jury testimony, it’s clear why. In the 2009 document, Bates is alleged to have received countless benefits as a result of his relationship with the members of TCSO’s hierarchy.

Former Maj. Shannon Clark testified to the grand jury that as reporters continued to ask about the 2009 Bates report, he was repeatedly told by then-Undersheriff Tim Albin that no one could find that specific report.

Maj. Shannon Clark

Former Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office Maj. Shannon Clark

“Now, with my experience with the media, some of the reporters that were calling, I believed in my heart that they knew more than I did about some investigation that had taken place,” Clark told the grand jury. “Otherwise, they’re not going to ask those questions.”

The 2009 Bates inquiry, it turned out, was never turned into an official investigation, something Sgt. Robbie Lillard — who authored the report — testified to the grand jury was called sending it to “dead file.”

Since it was a “dead file,” the report had no Internal Affairs number. So as pressure on TCSO to produce or acknowledge the investigation mounted, the report could not be located by any standard searches, Clark testified.

“There was a record that was produced in a computer, but (Sgt.) Robbie (Lillard) did it on a Word document, not under an Internal Affairs number or assignment. It was like a personal investigation for Undersheriff (Brian) Edwards at the time,” he said.

When the report finally surfaced within the agency, its existence was again swept under the rug, according to Clark’s testimony.

Former Capt. Billy McKelvey — who left TCSO after being demoted — testified he found a copy of the Bates report he had saved while working in Internal Affairs.

McKelvey gave the report to Albin, and the undersheriff’s response was muted, McKelvey testified.

“He didn’t really say too much, but his body language was … ‘Oh, shit, this document is out.’ That’s how I took his body language,” McKelvey told the grand jury.

Meanwhile, Clark said he was told to continue to deny the report’s existence. Clark said Albin then took the document to Glanz the following day, but the sheriff seemed nonplussed.

“The response I get from the undersheriff is that the sheriff wasn’t too concerned with it,” Clark testified. “He kind of glanced at it. Threw it back on the desk. And said, ‘Yeah.’ Something about ‘so — so what?’ ”

TCSO feared ‘black lives matter thing’

By the time the sheriff’s office publicly acknowledged the report, it was too late. It had leaked in the media and was being reported on both a local and national level.

Both Albin and Maj. Tom Huckeby, both close to Bates, had been forced to resign and calls for Glanz’s resignation intensified.

A citizens group called We The People Oklahoma held frequent public rallies calling for Glanz’s job, locally popularizing the Twitter hashtag #GlanzGottaGo.

Marq Lewis, founder of We The People Oklahoma, helped organize protests calling for the sheriff's resignation.

Marq Lewis, founder of We The People Oklahoma, helped organize protests calling for the sheriff’s resignation. DYLAN GOFORTH/The Frontier

The Harris shooting came at a time of increased public focus surrounding the shootings of unarmed black men by white law enforcement officers. McKelvey told a reporter after the shooting that TCSO investigators cleared the homicide quickly in order to avoid “what happened in Ferguson” when Michael Brown’s body was left in the street for hours.

McKelvey was asked by a grand juror if there was a “particular approach” the sheriff’s office sought to use during the aftermath of Harris’ death. He said the sheriff’s office hired a media consultant because of “the black lives matter thing” in order to “put a better spin on it so there wouldn’t be violence in the city of Tulsa.”

Black Lives Matter is a national, chapter-based organization focusing on a wide variety of issues including discrimination against black people by law enforcement agencies.

There were no reports of violence or disturbances during the numerous protests organized by We The People and organizers frequently reminded participants to observe the law while demonstrating.

Clark also testified that current TCSO PIO Justin Green “didn’t want to be involved in the PIO position, but the Sheriff — and the Sheriff’s words to me was, ‘We need to add a little color to the PIO role because of the issues in North Tulsa.'”

Green told NewsOn6 late Tuesday that he was not forced to take the job of public information officer.

Sheriff discussed stipend

In addition to the charge related to the Bates report, Glanz faces a misdemeanor count alleging he pocketed a $600 vehicle stipend while driving a county car.

After the indictments were announced in September, Glanz’s attorney, Scott Wood, told reporters the stipend charge was “murky.”

“The vehicle stipend is a little bit more of a question mark … If you drive your personal vehicle in an official capacity as sheriff to a crime scene … there’s all kinds of issues. Would your insurance company cover you if something happened when you were driving that vehicle? I bet they wouldn’t,” Wood said.

“You’re telling me no elected official ever gets into a county or state vehicle and uses it instead of their personal vehicle?”

Former Sheriff Stanley Glanz leaves the grand jury with his attorney, Scott Wood, in September.

Former Sheriff Stanley Glanz leaves the grand jury with his attorney, Scott Wood, in September. DYLAN GOFORTH/The Frontier

While Glanz is charged with taking the stipend since January 2014, testimony before the grand jury indicates the practice had been going on for years.

McKelvey told the grand jury that Glanz had received the vehicle stipend “for a number of years, meaning 10 years plus, and earlier this year, they bought him a new 2015 Tahoe to drive.”

Glanz was aware that taking the stipend and driving a county car was not legal, McKelvey said.

“During the staff meeting it was brought up, it was about the time the city and the county was in heated negotiations concerning payment of city inmates in the county jail. And the sheriff made a comment in this meeting that, ‘One of these days, they’re going to come after me for my vehicle stipend.’ ”

Clark testified he once was chastised for calling the sheriff’s Tahoe “his car.”

“I was called in the Sheriff’s Office and criticized for my statement because I referred to his Tahoe at the time.”

Clark said he was criticized because Glanz takes the stipend and “no one is supposed to know that (Tahoe) belongs to him.”

“That’s why it’s unregistered in fleet. .. You’ll not find it in fleet record where it’s assigned to him.”

Clark said many sheriffs elect not to drive county cars if they take the auto stipend.

“I guess the rules are so strict that them happening to use a county car is probably more greater than not and they don’t want to get caught up in that.”

Read the complete grand jury testimony filed in Glanz’s criminal case.