Tulsa County Sheriff Stanley Glanz testified in front of grand jurors on Wednesday for about three hours, and his attorney said he believed his client’s testimony likely signals the investigation is nearing its end.
Glanz walked into the grand jury room at about 8:45 a.m. and did not make a statement. He immediately went into the jury meeting room with Scott Wood, an attorney who has represented Glanz in the past. He and Wood emerged at 10:30 a.m. for a short break, and finished up a little bit after noon.
Wood said they “covered a lot of ground” in their three-hour meeting with the grand jurors, and that Glanz was “happy to assist” the jury.
Wood said “a couple of documents” came up when Glanz was talking Wednesday with the grand jury. He did not disclose what the documents were, but said they would be provided to the grand jury “probably this afternoon.”
He said that while Glanz would be available to return to meet with the jurors at a later date should they need him, he was led to believe the sheriff had answered all of their questions.
Glanz’s testimony likely signals that the jury is close to finishing their investigation, Wood said. Jurors began hearing testimony in late July and has so far interviewed at least 24 people.
“They have some work to do, but I don’t know if there’s any other witnesses scheduled at this time,” Wood said. “I guess there’s always a possibility that someone could be called back for cleanup or clarification at certain points.”
Neither Glanz nor Wood would discuss specifically what the sheriff spoke with jurors about, but Wood said that “a lot of it was devoted to 2009 and the events that occurred then.”
In 2009, then-undersheriff Brian Edwards commissioned an Internal Affairs investigation after allegations arose that Robert Bates had received preferential treatment as he rose through the reserve deputy ranks.
The report, written by Capt. Rob Lillard, indicated that numerous supervisors believed Bates was not only not field ready, but that he had not received all of his training. Glanz first said he did not know about the report, then recanted and said he recalled reading it back when it was commissioned.
Glanz told a reporter from The Frontier on Monday that he was “tired of the bullshit” that has enveloped him and TCSO since Bates, a wealthy reserve deputy, killed Eric Harris during a botched gun sting on April 2.
The Bates shooting kicked off much of the quagmire that has enveloped the sheriff’s office in the last six months. A number of high-ranking sheriff’s office officials have been forced to resign, been fired or been demoted in the Bates fallout: Following Harris’ death, Glanz has asked two longtime confidantes, former Maj. Tom Huckeby and ex-Undersheriff Tim Albin, to resign, fired one employee and watched another resign after a demotion.
Bates was charged with second-degree manslaughter and is awaiting trial.
All the while Glanz was adamant that while he would not run for re-election in 2016, he would not resign from his post, one he’s held since becoming sheriff in 1989. But even that resolve might be withering — on Monday Glanz said he didn’t “know what (he was) going to do,” adding that his decision would be based on “what is best for the Sheriff’s Office, not me.”
The petition signed by more than 6,000 registered voters seeks his dismissal from office, and it’s unclear what would happen to the grand jury proceedings should Glanz resign in the interim. The grand jury has met in secret now for more than eight weeks, receiving testimony from more than 20 people, including Huckeby, Albin, former public information officer Shannon Clark, as well as new undersheriff Rick Weigel, and other current and former deputies.
The grand jury meets in secret in an offshoot room on the courthouse’s sixth floor that’s not visibly to reporters, so all that’s known is who enters the room and who exits it.
But of all the key figures who could have been compelled to testify, only Bates, and perhaps TCSO Director of Governmental Affairs Terry Simonson and County Assessor Ken Yazel have not yet been seen going in to meet with jurors.
Who has met with the grand jury so far?
- Sheriff Stanley Glanz
- Former undersheriff Tim Albin: Forced to resign following the release of the 2009 Internal Affairs document alleging Robert Bates received preferential treatment.
- Former Maj. Tom Huckeby: Forced to resign following the release of the 2009 Internal Affairs document alleging Robert Bates received preferential treatment.
- Capt. Rob Lillard: Conducted the 2009 Internal Affairs investigation into Bates.
- Deputy Tim Wilkens
- Former Maj. Shannon Clark: Was fired for an undisclosed reason following the Bates fallout.
- Former Capt. Billy McKelvey: Was demoted and later resigned following the Bates fallout.
- Undersheriff Rick Weigel: Became undersheriff after Albin was forced out.
- Former deputy Warren Crittenden: Was a key figure in the 2009 Internal Affairs document. Was fired from the sheriff’s office in 2011, and later had a murder charge against him dropped.
- Former Undersheriff Brian Edwards: Commissioned the 2009 Internal Affairs document.
- Deputy Joseph Byars: Recorded in the Eric Harris video saying “Fuck your breath” to a dying Harris.
- Capt. Eric Kitch: Was a key figure in the 2009 Internal Affairs document.
- Sgt. Randy Chapman: Was a key figure in the 2009 Internal Affairs document.
- Deputy Michael Huckeby: Was filmed in the Harris shooting.
- Former deputy Bill Adams
- Deputy Evan Foster
- Cpl. Kyle Hess
- Deputy Chief John Bowman
- Deputy Chief Michelle Robinette
- Sgt. Chris Pierce
- Meredith Baker: General Counsel for the sheriff’s office.
- Deputy Jerry Quinton
- Deputy Eric Anderson
- Sgt. Dave Roberts