TULSA, Okla. (AP) — A former Oklahoma sheriff wants a charge dismissed alleging he failed to release an internal report questioning the field training of a reserve deputy who later fatally shot an unarmed man.
Attorneys for former Tulsa County Sheriff Stanley Glanz filed the motion Wednesday, saying the 2009 report was a confidential personnel record and not subject to release under Oklahoma's Open Records Act.
Glanz, who resigned Nov. 1, is charged with two misdemeanors; the second accuses Glanz of willfully violating the law in an unrelated incident involving a stipend he received for a vehicle. Glanz is due in court Jan. 20 and has denied any wrongdoing.
The report was leaked after volunteer deputy Robert Bates fatally shot Eric Harris in April during a gun-sales sting. The memo alleged top sheriff's officials knew that Bates was inadequately trained but pressured others to look away. Bates has said he confused his stun gun and handgun and pleaded not guilty to second-degree manslaughter. His trial is scheduled to start April 18.
Bates, who left the agency after the shooting, is one of Glanz's close friends who gave thousands of dollars in cash, vehicles and equipment to the sheriff's office. His close ties raised questions about whether reserve deputies were given special treatment in return for financial contributions and other gifts to the agency.
Attorney Scott Wood said Thursday that Glanz was advised by his in-house legal counsel after the April shooting that the 2009 memo was a confidential record. Prosecutor Rob Barris declined to comment on the motion because his office hadn't yet received a copy.
"As a practical matter, somebody else released that document at the same time," Wood said, offering another reason why the charge should be dismissed.
Thousands of county residents signed a petition to empanel the grand jury that indicted Glanz.
The sheriff's office still faces unresolved federal and state lawsuits and a state investigation.
A special election to pick a new sheriff is set for March 1.