Fired sheriff's major reacts to investigation

Posted at 9:33 AM, Oct 02, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-02 10:33:12-04

A fired Tulsa County Sheriff’s Major speaks out after grand jury findings into the sheriff’s office were released.

Shannon Clark believes he was wrongfully terminated. He worked under Sheriff Glanz for 15 years, but says the last few have been tough as he watched the corruption unfold.

"At one point in time he was very, very ethical, very truthful. But over the last term, I've seen a lot of change in him,” said Clark. “He's not the same guy that I remember.”

Clark says problems escalated after Reserve Deputy Robert Bates killed Eric Harris. A 2009 memo was leaked, revealing Bates was not properly trained.

“They knew they were going to fire me from the minute the sheriff believed I released that report. He told them to go run an investigation to find something on me, that they could say that was with cause." Clark says he never leaked the memo and he still doesn't know why he was fired.

But the sheriff did tell the grand jury that the memo leak weighed into Clark’s termination. Despite the sheriff's testimony, his spokesperson disputes Clark's claims.

"The ultimate termination of Shannon Clark had absolutely nothing to do with what was in the the petition to remove the sheriff," said Terry Simonson. "It was an independent, separate investigation, again a personnel investigation conducted by the sheriff's office. It had nothing to do with Robert Bates. It had nothing to do with the 2009 report."

The grand jury found that as an oppression of office, along with seven other allegations. Two of those are criminal charges.

The undersheriff took over the sheriff's responsibilities on Thursday. Rick Weigel gave a brief statement, and did not answer questions from the media.

"We want to reassure the community that we see this current situation as an opportunity to redirect ourselves and redefine our objectives and priorities as to how we can best serve Tulsa County," said Weigel.

Clark just hopes justice will come.

“I truly believe being ethical and trying to do the right thing was part of my demise," said Clark.


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