Tulsa police, City Councilor Blake Ewing spar; TPD alleging intimidation

TULSA - The Tulsa Police Department's top brass is accusing a city councilor of using his authority to intimidate officers.

The department alleges City Councilor Blake Ewing crossed a line during an argument with TPD officers and Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement Commission late last month.

According to a report 2NEWS obtained, Ewing became upset when officers started writing citations for unlicensed games at his businesses, The Max Retro Pub and Joe Momma's Pizza.

The report said Ewing, owner of a handful of downtown Tulsa businesses, told officers he would find it "very hard to approve additional manpower if this is how the department thought officers were best deployed."

Ewing denies any wrongdoing, and said having a large number of uniformed officers enter his businesses during primary hours was upsetting for his employees and customers.

"What I was suggesting to the officer that night was, not that we withhold funding for the academies -- which is ridiculous -- but that I would recount this incident in full detail, because it seemed like a waste of resources and a waste of manpower."

Ewing's employee used her cell phone to recorded the exchange.


In that same open records request, 2NEWS obtained an email to police chief Chuck Jordan from deputy chief Mark McCrory.

"This is an issue of using his position to keep our officers from doing their job," McCrory wrote.

In another email, Maj. Tracie Lewis said, "I want to have good relationships with our city government but I do feel this interaction is inappropriate."

SEE THE EMAILS (bit.ly/TPDemails)

Jordan chose not to comment on the confrontation specifically, but did tell 2NEWS the compliance checks at the city councilor's businesses were no different than those conducted at more than 30 other Tulsa establishments in recent months.

Jordan also stressed that, while major crimes do receive the greater part of the department's resources, TPD will enforce all city laws, including licensing violations.
Ewing provided 2NEWS with documentation from the city, showing that the games at the Max Retro Pub are not required to be licensed. Licenses were purchased for the games at Joe Momma's Pizza the day after the citations were written, he said.

The councilor says he plans to meet with Jordan later this month.

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