Mayor G.T. Bynum announced this week that Tulsa Fire Chief Ray Driskell will remain in his job. The mayor’s announcement came after a city investigation into allegations that Driskell mistreated of a firefighter during a private meeting and that he has carried a city-issued firearm without proper certification. DYLAN GOFORTH/The Frontier

Two weeks ago, when Tulsa Firefighter Nicholas Gillespie released a secretly recorded audio tape of a meeting he had with his boss, his stated intent was to force the city to investigate TFD Chief Ray Driskell’s conduct and to have the city fire him.

Gillespie got the investigation he wanted, but Driskell still has his job.

So what price did the fire chief pay for repeatedly swearing at Gillespie during a 2016 private meeting regarding the firefighter’s job performance?

And what consequences does Driskell face for obtaining a city-issued handgun despite not being CLEET certified?

Gillespie, through his attorney, argued that the language Driskell used during their meeting was unbecoming of a fire chief and created a hostile work environment. The chief’s possession of a firearm while on duty, he said, violated state laws and city policies.

The city’s response was swift, if not exactly illuminating. Mayor G.T. Bynum issued a 326-word statement Tuesday in which he announced that the city had completed its investigation into Gillespie’s allegations.

Regarding the audio tape, Bynum states that he addressed the recording directly with Driskell and that the matter had been resolved “in accordance with City of Tulsa work rules relative to employee discipline.”

The statement’s wording would seem to indicate Driskell was disciplined for his behavior during the meeting, but it does not state what that discipline was. Under the state Open Records Act, the city is not legally obligated to release those disciplinary records.

The only exceptions are records reflecting “final disciplinary action resulting in loss of pay, suspension, demotion of position, or termination.”

The Frontier requested records of any final disciplinary action taken against Driskell, and the city responded that no such records exist.

Bynum’s statement makes no mention of whether Driskell was disciplined for having a city-issued firearm without being CLEET certified, except to reference a 2012 Tulsa city attorney’s opinion.

The opinion is clear that the fire chief — whether Driskell or any other person in that position — is not required to be CLEET certified.

“In order to serve as City of Tulsa Fire Department Chief, it is not necessary for the Fire Department Chief to receive law enforcement training and certification from the State of Oklahoma Council on Law Enforcement and Education Training (CLEET),” the city attorney’s opinion states.

What the opinion does not explicitly address is what Gillespie alleges: that Driskell, as fire chief, must be CLEET certified to carry a firearm on duty.

But City Attorney David O’Meilia, who wrote the opinion referenced by the mayor, said Thursday that CLEET’s firearms training requirements apply only to police officers and peace officers, and that Driskell does not qualify as either under state law or city ordinance.

Gillespie’s attorney, Joel LaCourse, has a different opinion. He has argued that city policy prohibits Driskell from receiving a city-issued weapon. He also points out that, even if Driskell has a valid handgun license, state law prohibits licensed gun owners from carrying a gun into a government structure “for the purpose of conducting business with the public.”

This we do know: Chief Driskell did have a handgun issued to him by the Fire Department, and he has returned it.

The Frontier reported last week, and the deputy fire chief confirmed, that the Fire Department in 2015 issued Driskell a .40 caliber handgun – a Glock 27 – on Aug. 10, 2015. The deputy chief, Scott Clark, said he had never seen Driskell carry the gun, and that to his knowledge, it was always kept in the chief’s desk.

Thursday, Clark said Driskell had returned the gun to the city.

“The gun was returned voluntarily,” Clark said.

Of course, the fire chief isn’t out of the woods yet. He’s still facing a vote of no-confidence by members of Tulsa Firefighters Local 176.