Simonson and son

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So Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett Jr has placed Chief of Staff Terry Simonson and Fire Chief Allen LaCroix on paid leave pending an investigation into emails suggesting that Simonson's intervention with LaCroix allowed his son to jump ahead of the line to apply for a position as a Tulsa firefighter and Simonson and son's alleged unauthorized use of the Fire Department's training center.

The emails from Simonson to LaCroix were from late June. It's my understanding that the situation was well known around City Hall by August. The incident at the training center happened on September 3. So why did we only see news reports about this after the city primary election?

News about the appearance of impropriety on the part of Bartlett Jr's right-hand man might have reminded voters about the misinformation from the Mayor's Office to the Council about the Federal JAG grant, where correct information could have prevented police layoffs. It might have reminded voters that councilors had good reason not to trust Bartlett Jr or his staff, good reason to resist Bartlett Jr from time to time. It might have undercut the ignorant and widespread "bickering" meme that did such political damage to incumbent councilors.

UPDATE Monday, 2011/09/26: KRMG's April Hill spoke to me about this blog entry, and KRMG's Nicole Burgin spoke to City Councilor Bill Christiansen about the controversy.

Councilor Bill Christiansen says he requested internal emails within the Tulsa fire department that leads him to believe that influence was used to get Simonson's son into the pool for firefighter testing after it was full.

"After seeing the emails and seeing the comments made by some of the people in the process that kind of objected to doing what they were being asked to do, yeah, there were some things asked for that shouldn't have been asked for," says Christiansen.

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Bob said:

Michael, your analysis is spot-on, as usual.

After the new Council is sworn next January, look for Dewey, Jr. and the Council to endorse a new River Tax, along the same theme as the Vision 2025 propaganda "It's About Jobs".

That will about exhaust Dewey, Jr.'s usefulness to the local ruling power elite, and they can then foist another hand-selected successor on the public.

Much like his predecessor Mayor Kathy Taylor's moral authority was used up to promote the Kaiser River Tax, the renewed downtown BID to build an unnecessary ballpark (downtown), paying Leucadia National Corp. 2x-3x the market value for One Technology Center to become the new City Hall, and subsidizing the rent payments to Bank of Kaiser to occupy a few floors of the new City Hall.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on September 25, 2011 1:27 AM.

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