By KEVIN CANFIELD
Tulsa County Sheriff Stanley Glanz’s contract with a private law firm to defend him in a grand jury investigation will be revisited by county commissioners at their meeting Monday.
Acting County Commissioner Michael Willis said Thursday that he placed the item on the agenda on behalf of Commissioner Karen Keith, who is out of state.
The agenda item is expected to read: “Discussion and possible action regarding agreement with McDonald, McCann, Metcalf and Carwile,” Willis said.
“I plan on asking the District Attorney’s Office for advice and an explanation of the issues surrounding this agreement that was passed at the Board of County Commissioners meeting on June 29,” Willis said. “I do not know whether the board will take action on the item after the discussion with the District Attorney’s Office.”
The meeting is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. in room 315 of the Tulsa County Administration Building, 500 S. Denver Ave.
The commissioners’ vote to approve the agreement drew strong criticism from some county residents who objected to the fact that commissioners took no public comments before casting their votes.
Keith held a public meeting Tuesday to give residents an opportunity to voice their concerns. At the end of the meeting, she said she would work to place the contract back on the agenda but made no promise that commissioners would hold a vote to rescind the agreement.
More than 6,000 people signed a petition by We The People Oklahoma to impanel a grand jury to remove Glanz from office.
The petition drive was spurred by the April 2 killing of Eric Harris at the hands of Sheriff’s Office reserve deputy Robert Bates during an undercover sting operation to retrieve stolen guns.
Bates, 73, said he intended to grab his Taser but instead pulled out his revolver and fired one shot. He has pleaded not guilty to second-degree manslaughter.
The incident unleashed a wave of intense scrutiny of the Sheriff’s Office and the firing or retirement of several top officials.
Later this month, the law firm whose contract commissioners voted to approve will head to the state Supreme Court in an attempt to halt grand jury proceedings before they begin July 20.
The firm is being paid between $165 and $265 dollars an hour.