Controversial Deputy Had Bad Attitude

Robert Bates

Robert Bates

“Bates boasted of his connections in the sheriff’s department and the U.S. attorney’s office . . . bragged about using his position in the Sheriff’s Office to help powerful friends.” – Tulsa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Here is more from the same news report:

Evidence of Bates’ unwillingness to take direction from superiors at the Sheriff’s Office also emerges in the 2009 investigative report obtained by several news organizations from attorneys for Harris’ family. It shows concerns within the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office that the wealthy donor was conducting field operations for which he was not properly trained.

The investigation, which includes interviews with several high-ranking officers inside the sheriff’s department, found that Bates received special treatment and inadequate training. It quoted two deputies as saying they “felt Bates’ field operations were a little scary.”

It also concluded that when other officers raised complaints, they were told by superiors to keep quiet and were reminded of Bates’ generosity, which included donations of tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of vehicles and high-tech equipment to the department.

In one case, Sgt. Randy Chapman told an internal investigator that Bates was eager to complete his field training program so that he could stop vehicles and do patrol functions on his own.

When Chapman learned Bates was stopping vehicles on his own without the proper training and confronted him about it, Bates responded: “Well, I can do it, and if you don’t like it, you can talk to Tim Albin or Sheriff Glanz because I’m going to do it,” according to the investigative report.

Although Bates’ attorney maintains that Bates only rarely pulled drivers over, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol confirmed that Bates stopped an off-duty state trooper in 2013 on the Creek Turnpike, which is outside the jurisdiction of the Sheriff’s Office, agency spokesman Lt. John Vincent said.

Apparently, the bad attitude isn’t limited to Bates.

The Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office has declined to discuss the contents of the 2009 investigative report, which the office’s general counsel, Meredith Baker, said should not have been released publicly. After initially denying the report’s existence, authorities are now conducting an internal review to determine how it was leaked.

The Sheriff’s Office has failed to produce numerous documents requested by the AP, including documents supporting Bates’ training and any of his disciplinary records.

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