Oklahoma undersheriff resigns after critical internal report

Undersheriff in Tulsa, Okla., resigns; report from 2009 found allegations of intimidation

Fallout from a shooting earlier this month involving a reserve Tulsa County sheriff's deputy continued Monday with the resignation of the department's undersheriff.

Sheriff Stanley Glanz announced the resignation of Undersheriff Tim Albin, days after an internal report alleged Albin and another official had created a culture of intimidation that allowed Reserve Deputy Robert Bates to work without proper training.

In a statement Glanz read to reporters Monday, he said Albin "has been a great contributor to the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office over the past 20 years."

But, he added, "given the gravity of the current situation and the need to go a different direction with our leadership and management, he agrees with me that it is time for a change."

The internal report, compiled in 2009 and released Friday, found that Albin, with Capt. Tom Huckeby, intimidated several sheriff's officers who questioned Bates' qualifications.

"Policy has been violated, and continues to be violated, by both Captain Tom Huckeby and Chief Deputy Tim Albin with regard to special treatment shown to Reserve Deputy Robert Bates with regard to his field training, and with Captain Huckeby and Chief Albin creating an atmosphere in which employees were intimidated to fail to adhere to policies in a manner which benefits Reserve Deputy Bates," according to the report.

The 300-page report consisted of dozens of interviews with sheriff’s department officials.

Bates shot and killed Eric Harris on April 2 when he mistook his Taser for a handgun during an undercover sting operation. 

On Monday an attorney for the Harris family called Albin’s resignation an “important step,” but said more officials – including Glanz – should be held accountable.

“It is time for new leadership, reform and reconciliation,” said attorney Dan Smolen.

Bates, a wealthy insurance executive, frequently donated cars and other equipment to the sheriff's department, which has drawn strong criticism from some who say he was granted special treatment as a reserve deputy. 

Last week, Bates pleaded not guilty to second-degree manslaughter in Harris’ death. If convicted he could face four years in prison. 

Twitter: @kurtisalee

 

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times

UPDATE

2:24 p.m. This post has been updated to include comment from a representative of Eric Harris' family.

This post was originally published at 10:21 a.m.

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