Councilors call for Bartlett Jr ouster proceedings

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At the Thursday, March 3, 2011, continuation of Tuesday's meeting of the Tulsa City Council's Urban and Economic Development Committee, Councilor John Eagleton made a public call for Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett Jr's removal from office by ouster, a civil process initiated by complaint from registered voters, investigation and prosecution by the state's Attorney General, and concluded with a jury trial. That call was echoed by several of his colleagues, Democrats and Republicans alike, representing the length and breadth of the city.

Eagleton sets forth the case against Dewey Bartlett Jr on his website, a case that he presented during today's committee meeting. Eagleton's presentation constitutes about 23 minutes of the 46 minute video.

Following Eagleton's remarks, Council Chairman Rick Westcott (District 2) points out that there is an undeniable pattern of behavior on the part of Bartlett Jr and that none of the issues enumerated have been resolved. He says that "we need an independent third party... to make some legal determination if the actions do constitute violations of the law," referring to the Attorney General and to the jury that would ultimately hear the case. "Take it out of this arena, take it out of this political environment."

District 6 Councilor Jim Mautino talks about how he pushed to give Bartlett Jr the benefit of the doubt for six months, trying to work with the Mayor to get things done for his district, and how doing so hurt him with his fellow councilors and his constituents as they lost faith in Bartlett Jr. He mentions Bartlett Jr's apparent willingness to appoint an east Tulsa neighborhood leader to the TMAPC, to provide some geographical and neighborhood balance on the planning commission, only to back away, telling Mautino that his proposed commissioner was "toxic." (Mautino did not mention the name of the proposed commissioner, but I'm guessing he was speaking about Al Nichols, a long-time neighborhood leader, very familiar with Tulsa's zoning code and process. Presumably Nichols is too knowledgeable for the taste of someone with powerful influence over Bartlett Jr.)

District 1 Councilor Jack Henderson commended Eagleton for his courage: "John, I know you're going to receive some heat for it, a Republican going after another Republican, but I just want to take my hat off to you for being a man that stood up, is standing up for what's right, trying to make this city a better place." Henderson expressed hope that enough people would "do the right thing" and sign the affidavits so that the investigation by a third party can move forward.

District 3 Councilor Roscoe Turner said, "This is the first time, in all the years I've served on the Council, that there has been this kind of dialogue between a Mayor's Office and a Council. I've never in my life seen a Council that came together 9-0 against a Mayor.... When this Council first came together, the Mayor had a majority of the Council on his side. One by one, I guess he forced them off of his team....." Turner recalled a Council committee meeting at which Bartlett Jr got angry and asserted, "Last time I looked, I was still the boss." Turner said, "Why does anyone want to be the boss? We're here to work together to try to move the city forward."

District 4 Councilor Maria Barnes, wanting to end the meeting on a positive note, said that one of many good things to come out of this is that it has united the Council: "We all have been on the same page, working together."

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On his website, Eagleton has posted the presentation he made to the Council, over a hundred pages of backup material relating to the points of the complaint against the Mayor, and, most importantly, an "Affidavit for Ouster" which can be downloaded. This is a petition, requesting the Attorney General to pursue the charges against the Mayor. Approximately 1100 signatures are required. Each page details the charges and has a place for six signatures of City of Tulsa registered voters. The form can be attested by a notary, the Mayor, any city councilor, the City Clerk, or the City Attorney.

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Bob said:

Question about completing the "Affidavit for Ouster":

WHERE do I send it when it is completed?

To John Eagleton's law office?


Yes, it should be sent to John Eagleton's office -- 7030 S. Yale Ave. Suite 404, Tulsa, OK 74136. It needs to be verified by someone qualified to administer oaths -- a notary, a judge, the Mayor, a city councilor, the City Attorney, or the City Clerk.

mark said:

Michael -

I think it's important to point out that the Affidavit for Ouster is not the same as a "petition" that most of us are familiar with from petitioning to get candidates or questions on the ballot.

On a petition, a circulator can collect signatures from any number of registered voters without having those signatures notarized. The only signature that is ever notarized (later) is the circulator's.

By contrast, the Affidavit for Ouster seems to require a notary or other official to acknowledge EVERY signature at the time it is given. So, the provision of six signature lines on the Affidavit may be confusing since the notary could not acknowledge six signatures on a given form unless all six voters actually were present.

In an abundance of caution I would suggest that people use a separate sheet for each signature and acknowledgement.

I'd also suggest that John make the Affidavit more prominent on his website. It will be hard enough getting 1,100 Affidavits; MUCH harder than 1,100 petition signatures.

The A Team said:

Many GOP precinct meetings are tomorrow in Tulsa.

Will you be bringing copies of the affidavit of ouster to the meeting to gather signatures?

Will you encourage others to do the same?

How about a straw poll on ouster?

On recall?

Very good point, Mark. Everyone signing needs to do so in the presence of someone authorized to verify it. In most instances, that's going to be one or two at a time.

Aaron, in addition to bringing affidavit copies, those attending their caucuses may want to propose a platform resolution about this issue.

cathy said:

Please read the rebuttal the Mayor sent to the Governor.
There might be two sides to this story.

I read it. Bartlett Jr appears to dispute only a few of the facts in Eagleton's complaint. The disagreement is over the seriousness of Bartlett Jr's actions. I also noticed that Bartlett Jr sidestepped the complaint about attending meetings by referring to designees. Eagleton documented that Bartlett Jr had missed nearly all the meetings for which he had not appointed a designee to attend in his stead.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on March 4, 2011 1:48 AM.

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