Three days after former Tulsa County Sheriff Stanley Glanz pleaded guilty to willful violation of the law and no contest to refusal to perform official duty — both misdemeanors — county commissioners still weren’t ready Monday to say whether Glanz’s name should be removed from the Sheriff’s Office training center named in his honor.
“I know the BOCC (Board of County Commissioners) approved that naming,” said Commissioner Ron Peters. “I haven’t given it a lot of thought since then.”
Commissioner John Smaligo said he is open to having the discussion but declined to say whether he believes Glanz’s name should be removed from the facility. He noted that it was Sheriff’s Office personnel who asked that the training center be named for their boss.
“I certainly don’t have a problem revisiting the issue,” Smaligo said. “If the commissioners want to get together and discuss this at a management conference in the future, I think it’s appropriate to look at it again.”
The issue may end up being a moot one. The Sheriff’s Office has put construction of the training center on hold due to budget constraints but is moving forward with construction of a 911 call center on the same site. The 911 center is expected to be completed in the fall.
Officials broke ground on the Sheriff Stanley Glanz Law Enforcement Training Center in July 2014. Nine months later, in April 2015, then-TCSO Reserve Deputy Robert Bates fatally shot an unarmed black man during a pursuit. The incident sparked intense scrutiny of the agency and ultimately led to Glanz’s being indicted on the two misdemeanors he pleaded to Friday in Tulsa County District Court.
The refusal to perform official duty count accused Glanz of failing to provide a report on TCSO’s 2009 internal investigation into Bates after lawful requests from the media. The willful violation of the law count accused the former sheriff of using county vehicles for official business while at the same time collecting a $600 monthly stipend for a personal vehicle.
Under the terms of the plea agreement, Glanz received a one-year suspended sentence on each count. Bates, meanwhile, was convicted of second-degree manslaughter in the death of Eric Harris and is serving a four-year sentence.
Smaligo said he would like to hear from the current Sheriff’s Office administration and the union representing Sheriff’s Office employees before making his decision.
The man who succeeded Glanz as sheriff, Vic Regalado, said Monday that it is not his place to name the facility.
“But I will support whatever the public and the citizens of Tulsa County want to do regarding the name of the training center,” Regalado said. “If it is left up to me, I would name it something generic, such as ‘The Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office Training Center.’”
Smaligo said the media, not the public, wants to know whether Glanz’s name will be removed from the training center.
“I don’t know if a misdemeanor guilty plea and a no-contest plea is enough to warrant removing his name, but it may well,” Smaligo said. “I think it is something the three commissioners are going to have to give quite a bit of thought to.”
He added: “Ultimately, the question comes down to, Is a person’s entire legacy going to be determined by the worst thing they are involved in, or a lifetime of good things? This community for the most part has chosen — in a couple of different cases — whatever good a person has done, if they have done something that is bad, then we are going to punish their overall legacy.”
Smaligo stressed that his comments should not be interpreted as excusing or discounting Glanz’s actions.
Commissioner Karen Keith did not respond to Frontier requests for comment.
County commissioners in 2013 approved a resolution naming the training center after Glanz. The facility was to have been built on 33.8 acres of land at 6094 E. 66th Street North.
The Sheriff’s Office received a $1.6 million loan from the Tulsa County Industrial Authority to start the project. The $1.6 million covered the $1.3 million cost of the land and $300,000 in engineering and preliminary infrastructure costs.
The overall construction estimated on the project was initially $1.2 to $1.6 million but is now expected to be closer to $3.4 million, Sheriff’s Office officials said Monday. That figure does not include the $1.6 million the Sheriff’s Office borrowed to get the project started.
The training center was intended to provide a place for Sheriff’s Office employees and other area law enforcement agencies to train. It was expected to include classrooms and conference rooms, a dispatch center, a weight-training facility, bunks for overnight stays and a kitchen.
A 1,632-foot range house was to have included offices for the shooting range staff as well as a simulator and classroom. A mile-long driver training track and urban training village were also part of the project.