Dylan Goforth is 25 percent of the Frontier’s writing staff, and is proudly the youngest member of the team. The focus of his blog had to switch gears when his colleague Cary called dibs on the dog beat. Instead, Untethered will focus on subjects like pop culture, social issues, crime … and also dogs.
SKIATOOK — With the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office scandal entering its third month, I finally got my one-on-one interview with Sheriff Stanley Glanz.
Of course, I had to go to Skiatook to get it (and I had to get lost and stuck behind a wandering herd of cattle on the way), but it was worth it.
Glanz hasn’t exactly been elusive since the April 2 shooting of Eric Harris. He still attends the county commissioners’ meetings on Mondays, and he’s answered several of my phone calls. But I’ve never been able to directly ask him some of the questions I’ve had.
He seemed to be in a good mood Wednesday watching 40-or-so young Boy Scouts shoot off rockets and rejoice over hamburgers at the Sheriff’s Boy Scout Camp at Zink Ranch.
But when the topic turned serious, so did he.
Among the things we discussed:
- The status of the reserve deputy program:
The program is still on ice, Glanz said. Reserves can work functions, but can’t do police work. Glanz said they’re still reviewing all reserve deputy files to ensure everything is “up to snuff.”
- The future of the reserve deputy program:
“We have some realistic training we’re doing where you have to make a decision on when you pull your gun or are you going to use your Taser,” Glanz said. “And when you make a decision, one or the other, and then you change your mind, how do you transition? I don’t think we’ve ever trained for those situations.”
- The status of the OSBI investigation:
“I haven’t (heard from them,)” Glanz told me. “I’m really anxious for them to come in and sit down and talk to me and get started. … I think there’s a lot of questions that people have and I have those answers, but no one ever sat down with me to ask me.”
- The new public information officer:
Deputy Justin Green, a four-year deputy who worked first as a detention officer, then inside the courthouse doing security, will assume the role vacated by Shannon Clark, who was fired last month, Glanz said.
Glanz and I also discussed the TCSO ranks. Earlier this week, Capt. Bill McKelvey became the fourth high-ranking official to be either fired (like Clark) or forced to resign (like Maj. Tom Huckeby and Undersheriff Tim Albin) or placed on leave.
I wondered aloud if anyone else might be swept up into that net, but Glanz said he “didn’t know how to answer that.”
There’s been some consternation over the last three dismissals, in that Clark was the only one actually fired. Albin and Huckeby were allowed to resign, something that some perceive as the sheriff doing them a favor.
Terry Simonson, who had been acting as TCSO’s spokesman since Clark’s departure, told me that Glanz had “terminated” (but not fired) Huckeby and Albin, because he was displeased with their performance.
Glanz told me Wednesday that’s not the first time he’s forced someone to resign rather than firing them outright. Glanz himself made that distinction again while we were here talking about the fallout.
“I’ve been sheriff 27 years and I’ve fired, or I have asked people to leave,” he said. “I have two captains I asked to leave back in the ’90s, I have a chief deputy that resigned, I have another chief that was over the jail that I asked to resign.
“So over the years, there’s been several people that I’ve counted on and they disappointed me and I’ve asked them to leave. For some reason in a political office people seem to think that they can do things that maybe you wouldn’t do in other positions. I don’t know why it is that way, but I’m the elected official and I’m responsible for this office.”