- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 23, 2015

TULSA, Okla. (AP) - An Oklahoma sheriff whose office is under investigation after a volunteer deputy fatally shot an unarmed man appeared before a grand jury Wednesday, with the bulk of his testimony focusing on a leaked memo acknowledging that deputy’s inadequate training, a defense attorney said.

Tulsa County Sheriff Stanley Glanz spent about three hours before the grand jury, which is investigating allegations of wrongdoing after deputy Robert Bates killed Eric Harris in April in a Tulsa street after Harris was allegedly caught in an illegal gun-sales sting.

Glanz didn’t comment as he left the jury room, but attorney Scott Wood said much of the testimony focused on the 2009 memo that found top sheriff’s office officials knew Bates was inadequately trained, but pressured other officers to look away.

“From the testimony I heard today, nobody did anything wrong or in violation of the law,” Wood told reporters outside the jury room. Wood said Glanz was pleased he had an opportunity to “clear the air” on the fallout.

Bates, a longtime friend of Glanz who’s donated thousands of dollars in cash, cars and equipment to the sheriff’s office, has said he mistook his handgun for a stun gun and has pleaded not guilty to a second-degree manslaughter charge.

Bates has left the force and is awaiting trial in February. His close ties to Glanz and the agency raised questions about the reserve deputy program and whether Bates and others received special treatment in return for the gifts.

Thousands of residents petitioned for an investigation into the agency after the shooting, and the petition calling for the probe gained momentum among citizens and local civil rights leaders with the release of the memo by an attorney for the Harris family.

Terry Simonson, the sheriff’s spokesman, indicated Wednesday that Glanz had no immediate plans to resign from office, but said the sheriff might consider stepping down earlier than the end of his term next year “when the grand jury is behind him.”

“He has not talked openly about a definite retirement date, but saying that, the past five months have taken a great toll on him,” Simonson said in a phone interview after the sheriff testified. Simonson said Glanz intends to “live with” whatever the grand jury decides.

Jurors are meeting for the eighth week and have heard from at least 20 witnesses. The sheriff’s appearance could signal that the jury is nearing the end of hearing testimony and beginning deliberations whether to recommend an indictment or make an accusation for the sheriff’s removal from office.

Jurors have heard testimony in past weeks from a corporal in the internal affairs division, Warren Crittenden, who says he was pressured to sign off on memos saying Bates was qualified for duty. Crittenden told investigators in the 2009 memo that he feared he’d be transferred if he didn’t OK paperwork stating that Bates had completed his training at 328 hours, which violated policy requiring 480 hours of training, according to the report.

The jury also has heard from sheriff’s corporal Bill Adams, who called the memo “very accurate,” and said that Glanz could have done more to address its findings.

Both Crittenden and Adams have left the agency.

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