'Campaign intern' for Tulsa mayoral candidate Kathy Taylor says he's following Dewey Bartlett
4:28 PM, Nov 4, 2013
11:31 AM, Nov 5, 2013
TULSA - A man questioned by police for suspicious activity Saturday told officers he was hired by Tulsa mayoral candidate Kathy Taylor's office to follow her opponent Dewey Bartlett.
A police field interview report details the run-in with a Norman man, who witnesses reported seeing sitting inside his car parked outside the current mayor's home for the past several days.
The 23-year-old admitted to tracking Bartlett's movements, telling officers he had been in the Tulsa area monitoring the candidate for roughly one to two weeks on behalf of Taylor's campaign.
The man went further, describing his job as the documentation and recording of Bartlett's comings and goings, but said he was unaware he was doing anything wrong.
Officers also found a camera tripod, according to the report, but found no other evidence pointing to surveillance. He said the camera was used for general events.
The man was not arrested.
Taylor released the following statement Monday afternoon regarding the incident:
"As the police noted, our young campaign intern was doing absolutely nothing of concern and was completely legal. He was honest when asked what he was doing. If Ms. Brown felt concerned, I certainly empathize with that and of course apologize if we contributed to that concern. I do understand with the increase in crime in our city, that we must all be aware of our surroundings and I thank her for bringing this concern to my attention and to our police.
I hope for the next eight days of this campaign, we talk about the issues facing Tulsa families—how we get back to the basics to make this a safe city that is transparent and accountable to Tulsans."
Late Monday night, Bartlett addressed the contents of the report, and called out Taylor for hiring someone he equated to a stalker.
"I understand that I am a public figure. My family understands that, but I also understand that this is not City Hall, this is my home," he said. "... There is a line to be drawn and Kathy Taylor has obviously gone over that line. This is not normal. This is not a normal course of events in any campaign."
The campaign has grown increasingly tense in recent days as the Nov. 12 election nears. Tulsa police announced last week the department had begun an investigation into an apparent threat against Taylor. Bartlett's camp later said the mayor had also received numerous threats.