A grand jury on Wednesday indicted Tulsa County Sheriff Stanley Glanz on charges of failing to perform his official duties when he refused to release information during an investigation into his former reserve deputy and longtime friend Robert Bates.
Glanz was also charged by the grand jury this week with willingly violating the law in a separate incident in which he allegedly used a county stipend for official travel to cover personal expenses. Both charges are misdemeanors.
A third charge against Glanz was sealed, according to the indictment obtained by the Tulsa World.
Glanz’s attorney, Scott Wood, told the Associated Press that Glanz plans to plead not guilty.
“I know that my decisions have caused some to criticize me both publicly and privately,” Glanz said in a statement released by his attorney. “As sheriff, I take responsibility for all decisions made by me or in my name, but I assure you they were all made in good faith.”
He said he will resign from his position in the “immediate future.”
Glanz’s attorney was not immediately available for comment.
The investigation stemmed from an undercover operation on April 2 during which Bates, a 74-year-old insurance executive, allegedly shot and killed 44-year-old Eric Harris. The incident came amid nationwide protests over heavy-handed policing, especially toward African Americans. In addition, it sparked a debate over reserve police and deputy programs in the United States, and whether reserve officers are adequately trained.
Indeed, Tulsa County Sheriff’s Maj. Shannon Clark told the Tulsa World that is was not unusual for the reserves to be sent out on assignments. By trade, some are bankers, doctors, lawyers, retired cops or even celebrities. They obtain varying degrees of training and help the local police, not just by patrolling with them but also sometimes by bringing their own equipment, including weapons. The assistance usually comes at no cost to the department, and some departments even request donations from the volunteer officers in exchange for the positions.
Many have been hailed as heroes. A number of them have paid with their lives. Others have taken lives.
Bates, who had worked for a year as a police officer in the 1960s, was charged with second-degree manslaughter after the incident and is still awaiting trial. But during the investigation, many have questioned whether he had been property trained to handle such situations.
Amid an internal audit, eight reserve deputies have since moved on from the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office, according to the Associated Press.
In addition to the indictments, the grand jury also handed down accusations for Glanz’s removal.
Among the accusations in the grand jury document were several reported instances in which Glanz allegedly showed preferential treatment toward Bates, and, in at least one case, the grand jury suggested that this treatment may have kept Bates from receiving the training he needed to perform the job.
One allegation states that this preferential treatment created a dangerous situation during a shooting range incident.
Bates “was verbally reprimanded more than once for dangerous behavior with his weapon on the line,” according to the grand jury’s accusations. “Reserve Deputy Bates then became angry and refused to complete the firing range round, instead holstering his firearm and crossing his arms for the remainder of the course, resulting in a failing score.”
Glanz contacted the instructors and told them to “take it easy” and “pass him.”
Another allegation states that Bates was permitted to carry firearms that were not in accordance with department policy.
In all there are eight allegations against Glanz that include habitual or willful neglect of duty, gross partiality in office, oppression in office, corruption in office and willful maladministration.
Glanz’s next court hearing is scheduled for Nov. 10.