Lost in the media crush Wednesday at the Tulsa County Courthouse following the announcement that Sheriff Stanley Glanz was resigning from office after being charged with two misdemeanors were the damning findings in the grand jury’s “Accusation For Removal of Sheriff Stanley Glanz.”
The grand jury made eight specific accusations against Glanz, ranging from his ensuring that an untrained Robert Bates — a reserve deputy and longtime friend of Glanz who would go on to accidentally kill a man during a sting operation in 2015 — was allowed to act as a full-time deputy, to an allegation that Glanz helped slow down a 2015 Internal Affairs report into his knowledge of a previous investigation into Bates.
The furor over the April 2 shooting of Eric Harris was immediate, with a curious public asking how a 73-year-old reserve deputy could not only believe he was holding a Taser when he shot an unarmed man, but how that reserve deputy could be on such an assignment in the first place.
But interest in the case skyrocketed after The Frontier reported on a 2009 Internal Affairs document alleging that there had been numerous concerns expressed over the years that the reserve deputy in question, Robert Bates, had been allowed to pass through the reserve program without completing his necessary training.
The report also alleged that intimidation by superiors, including then-Chief Deputy Tim Albin and Capt. Tom Huckeby, had been the tool the Sheriff’s Office used to ensure Bates had blank check to do as he pleased. Bates is a wealthy insurance executive who had funneled sizable donations to the Sheriff’s Office and Glanz’s re-election campaigns.
When that 2009 Internal Affairs document was leaked, the Sheriff’s Office would not comment on it, saying first that they had to determine if it was an actual memo or if it had been altered (the Sheriff’s Office did not assign specific numbers to Internal Affairs documents, something the grand jury on Wednesday urged them to fix.)
Glanz first said that he had no knowledge of the report, then later said that he had read it, and believed that some action had taken place as a result.
The document released Wednesday revealed what that action was: Glanz instructed then-Undersheriff Brian Edwards to verbally reprimand Albin. Glanz himself reprimanded Huckeby.
Cpl. Randy Chapman, who was supervising the reserve program and said in the 2009 report that Bates became a reserve deputy “without (my) knowledge,” was transferred by Glanz, who said Chapman “had made Bob Bates mad and that Bates had requested” the move.
As for Bates, he was found to be driving his personal vehicle, one that was outfitted with police equipment, a policy violation (Bates had not completed his training, the document states). His punishment, records show, was to gift the vehicle to the Sheriff’s Office. He was later allowed to drive the vehicle at will.
In response to growing questions over Bates’ apparent lack of training, Bates’ attorney, Clark Brewster, released a batch of documents including some training files, such as firearm qualifications. To qualify at the range, reporters were told, reserve deputies had three tries to score a 72, the lowest possible passing score.
The accusation for removal tells a story from 2009, where Bates was “verbally reprimanded more than once for dangerous behavior” for pointing his firearm “in such a way as to expose (other deputies) to being shot.”
“Reserve Deputy Bates then became angry,” according to the report, “and refused to complete the firing range round, instead holstering his firearm and crossing his arms for the remainder of the course, resulting in a failing score.”
Glanz, according to the report, contacted Sgt. Eric Kitch, a firing range instructor, and told him to “take it easy,” on Bates, and to just “pass him.”
Bates was then given additional attempts at the range, ultimately garnering a passing score.
Bates shot Harris with a .38 revolver, according to the report, a firearm that was not “an authorized firearm for use by the Sheriff’s Office.” Glanz, the report states, “either permitted this practice or was neglectful in that he never ascertained whether or not” Bates was following policy.
One question raised when the relationship between Glanz and Bates was revealed was not just “Did Bates receive preferential treatment?” but “How many other reserve deputies were given preferential treatment?”
The accusation document states that Glanz allowed some reserves to bypass chain of command, bringing their concerns to him directly instead of to a supervisor. This, according to the document, created an environment “wherein full-time personnel would receive or believed they would receive discipline” for enforcing written policies.
Glanz, while testifying Sept. 23 to the grand jury, told them that he asked Maj. Tom Huckeby to resign following the release of the 2009 Internal Affairs document, but was urged by Undersheriff Rick Weigel to give Huckeby time before accepting his resignation.
At a later date, as the Sheriff’s Office became the subject of intense scrutiny, Glanz had another meeting with Huckeby, this time warning him: “Keep your mouth shut. Remember that your son (Michael Huckeby) still works for me.”
Glanz, beginning in 2006, learned of a product called “Staph Attack,“ which was used to contain and prevent staph and other infections in the jail, the accusation document states.
Tulsa County would later purchase this product to use in the jail, but not before Glanz had purchased stock in the parent company (Pure Bioscience) that produced it. Glanz, the grand jury noted, never disclosed to anyone that he had a financial interest in the product, an act they alleged constituted corruption in office.
Beginning in “at least 2009,” Glanz received a $600 a month vehicle allowance, which compensated him for the use of his personal vehicle. However, during the same period of time, Glanz utilized a county vehicle “at least 2 to 3 days a week” for travel related to his duties of sheriff. Glanz was charged with a misdemeanor for this allegation on Wednesday.
Following the leak in April of the 2009 Internal Affairs document, authored by Rob Lillard and sent to then-Undersheriff Brian Edwards, Glanz commissioned another IA investigation into “what Glanz knew and when he knew it concerning the 2009 Report.”
This investigation was to be authored by Chief Deputy John Bowman, who determined that Edwards would be a “key witness.”
Bowman listed 16 questions that Glanz requested be answered in the final report.
According to the IA document, which the grand jury reviewed and released on Wednesday, Bowman sent the finished report to Glanz, who told him that “it contained very little information.”
Bowman replied to Glanz that Edwards, who had refused to respond to Bowman’s interview requests, was “the linchpin that holds the answers to most of the questions Glanz wanted answered.”
Glanz replied that he had told Edwards in late April (after the report had been commissioned) that Edwards “would be foolish if he answered any questions concerning the report.”
“So,” Bowman wrote, “I was assigned this investigation by the Sheriff after he advised the key person to not talk to me or anyone else about it.”
Those actions, the grand jury noted, “obstructed the investigation and precluded” Bowman from fully answering the questions he was directed to answer. Those actions were “inexcusably reckless,” the document stated.