- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 12, 2016

TULSA, Okla. (AP) - The acting sheriff in Tulsa County, who had taken over after an outcry about the fatal shooting of an unarmed suspect by a volunteer deputy who was a friend of the former sheriff, announced Tuesday that he plans to retire. A chief deputy said he would retire as well.

Acting Sheriff Rick Weigel and Chief Deputy John Bowman both turned in their resignations Tuesday, sheriff’s spokesman Deputy Justin Green said. It wasn’t immediately clear when they would step down. Bowman has been chief deputy over the Uniformed Operations Division.

Weigel has been with the sheriff’s office since 2008 and Bowman since 2006. Both previously worked for the Tulsa Police Department, Weigel for 35 years and Bowman for 28, and Weigel also worked for the Department of Homeland Security.

Green said Chief Deputy Michelle Robinette, who is currently in charge of the county jail, would take over as acting sheriff. More details would be released later Tuesday, Green said. He did not immediately return phone calls from The Associated Press.

Weigel became acting sheriff late last year following Sheriff Stanley Glanz’s resignation. Glanz was indicted in September on misdemeanor counts of refusing to perform his official duties for not promptly releasing documents in an internal investigation related to reserve deputy Robert Bates, Glanz’s longtime friend who donated thousands of dollars in cash, cars and equipment to the sheriff’s office.



Bates’ training and the reserve deputy program came into question after he fatally shot Eric Harris - an unarmed, restrained man - in April. Bates has said he mistook his gun for a stun gun when he shot Harris, and has pleaded not guilty to second-degree manslaughter.

Bowman told the Tulsa World that he and Weigel are retiring because they want to spend more time with their families after restoring stability to the Sheriff’s Office in the wake of the Harris shooting and the questions raised about Bates.

Weigel’s goals had been to rebuild public confidence, provide stability for employees and implement the grand jury’s recommendations for improvement, Bowman said.

“We think we’ve made some major inroads in all three of those areas,” Bowman said.

Following Glanz’s resignation, Gov. Mary Fallin scheduled a special primary election for sheriff for March 1, with a special general election on April 5 if necessary.

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide