- Associated Press - Friday, August 14, 2015

TULSA, Okla. (AP) - The former Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office undersheriff who ordered a report that revealed serious concerns about the training of a volunteer deputy charged in the fatal shooting of an unarmed man was among several witnesses in court Friday to testify before a grand jury.

The grand jury is investigating whether Sheriff Stanley Glanz neglected his duties in office and whether reserve deputies who gave gifts to the agency were afforded special treatment.

Former Undersheriff Brian Edwards, who left the sheriff’s office in 2012 for another job in law enforcement, declined to comment on his testimony outside of court. His requested 2009 report concluded Robert Bates had inadequate training for a role as an advanced reserve deputy. Bates is a longtime friend of Glanz and served as the sheriff’s re-election campaign manager in 2012. He’s also donated cash and equipment to the agency.

The internal memo surfaced after Bates fatally shot Eric Harris on April 2. Bates said he confused his hand gun and stun gun. The 74-year-old has pleaded not guilty to second degree manslaughter and faces a jury trial next year.

At the time the memo came out, then-sheriff’s spokesman Shannon Clark repeatedly denied that he knew of its existence until attorneys for Harris’ family distributed copies to reporters. Clark, who was fired in May, also appeared in court Friday, and his attorneys claim he was wrongfully fired.

Harris’ killing and the leaked memo prompted local civil rights leaders to gather thousands of signatures required to empanel the grand jury to look into the allegations of wrongdoing.

Friday was the fifth day of testimony, and at least 10 witnesses have testified so far.

Also there Friday was Billy McKelvey, who was demoted from the rank of captain to deputy after an internal review of his job performance. McKelvey’s attorney, Shena Burgess, declined to comment.

On Thursday, jurors heard testimony from Deputy Evan Foster, who witnessed Bates use his stun gun on a suspect two months before Harris was shot.

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