Council Disputes Continue

Fireworks continue to fly at City Hall.  In Thursday’s City Council meeting a charge led by Councilor Turner unanimously approved sending a complaint of Mayor Bartlett’s perceived ethics violations to the City Auditor.

During the discussion both Councilors Bynum and Mautino asked for a two week “cool down period” before the vote on the ethics violation was taken.  Bynum asked the council repeatedly “to wait and take the opportunity to sit with the Mayor and discuss all the issues.”  Councilor Turner in obvious impatience and visible disgust continually moved to hold the vote despite pleas for patience.

Originally the item was to go directly to the Ethics Committee using the City Auditor’s office as a conduit, but in an apparent effort to cool tempers, Councilor Bynum asked that instead of sending the complaint directly to the committee; that it should be sent to the City Auditor and then he would determine if there was a violation qualified for the committee.  Councilor Turner was visually upset by the process.

After some discussion by Drew Reese, and Rick Wescott; Councilor Turner was persuaded to allow the City Auditor first review of the issue; but it was not without obvious disdain.  All of the councilors that spoke voiced the opinion that the events “needed looking into” and that it was the council’s job to investigate every possible ethics violation.

After the meeting Councilor Bill Christiansen said that this would not have been an issue if the attorney that the Mayor was accepting donated services from was not a current contractor for the City.

About the author:
Aaron Sheppard is a long time believer in smaller government and responsible use of tax dollars.  As a former City of Tulsa employee who worked in the Finance Department assisting in production of the Annual City Budget from 2001 to 2004, he experienced first hand the differences in what happens behind the scenes and what makes the news. He has a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Phoenix and has worked in the private sector since 2004.  Sheppard may be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for news tips.  Comments on this report are welcome below.