TULSA, OK – John Fitzpatrick, a Tulsa Police Department reserve officer, responded to charges regarding his certification status for the office of Tulsa County Sheriff.
Fitzpatrick called into question Jackson’s ability to lead based on his reading of statutory language which has led to his misinformed filing of and official challenge to his candidacy.
“Jackson has wasted $250 to file for this challenge and it is going to be a major waste of my valuable time and money as well,” Fitpatrick said.
Fitzpatrick sent FortySix News the following statement with information as to why the contest is baseless in facts.
Fitzpatrick Calls Challenge Baseless, Says It Will Not Stop Campaign Momentum
Business and military experience set Fitzpatrick apart from other Sheriff candidates, leading to challenge
John Fitzpatrick, Republican candidate for Tulsa County Sheriff, issued the following statement today addressing the candidate challenge filed against him:
“The people of Tulsa County should have the opportunity to chose our next Sheriff based on the candidates’ merits, not political gamesmanship.
The challenge to my candidacy is entirely baseless, as any plain reading of the law makes clear.
I am the only candidate in this race who combines law enforcement experience with both private sector management and military leadership experience. As more and more voters learn about these qualifications, my campaign has gained strength every month.
The challenge to my candidacy is simply an attempt to stop this momentum. Even though he must know that the challenge cannot succeed under the law, the challenger must hope to distract our campaign and stop our momentum.
He will not succeed.
Under Oklahoma law (Title 19, Section 510), there are five principal qualifications to run for County Sheriff.
a. resident of the State of Oklahoma for two (2) years,
b. registered voter of the party whose nomination he or she seeks, … within the county from which such person seeks election for the six (6) months next preceding the first day of the filing period,
c. is at least twenty-five (25) years of age,
d. possesses at least a high school education, and
e. in counties with populations of five hundred thousand (500,000) or more, the person seeking election shall also be a current certified peace officer in good standing.
I indisputably meet each of these qualifications.
Specifically with regard to the final qualification listed above, I have over ten years of decorated service with the Tulsa Police Department as a reserve officer, am in good standing and CLEET certified. Oklahoma law (Title 21, Section 648(A)) makes clear that “peace officer” means any person who is “charged with the responsibility of maintaining public order … by the enforcement of all laws … and who is authorized to bear arms in execution of his responsibilities, including … reserve municipal police officers.”
Because the law and my qualifications are very clear, I cannot help but question the real motivations behind this challenge. The truth is the people of Tulsa County have dealt with enough drama around the Sheriff’s office. It’s time to get down to business – the business of reforming the office and improving public safety in Tulsa County. That’s what I will do as Sheriff.”
COMPLETE SECTIONS OF RELEVANT OKLAHOMA STATUTES:
Title 19. Counties and County Officers §19-510. County sheriff – Qualifications.
Any person, otherwise qualified, who has been a resident of the State of Oklahoma for two (2) years, has been a registered voter of the party whose nomination he or she seeks, or a registered Independent, within the county from which such person seeks election for the six (6) months next preceding the first day of the filing period, except in 2004, when such person must have been a qualified registered elector no later than December 21, 2003, is at least twenty-five (25) years of age next preceding the date of filing for office, possesses at least a high school education, shall be eligible to hold the office of county sheriff or to file therefor. Provided, however, in counties with populations of five hundred thousand (500,000) or more, the person seeking election shall also be a current certified peace officer in good standing. Within twelve (12) months of taking office, all newly elected or appointed sheriffs shall complete a sheriff’s administrative school which has been developed by the Oklahoma Sheriff’s Association and which has been approved by the Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training (CLEET). Failure to complete the sheriff’s administrative school within the specified period shall preclude the new sheriff from obtaining CLEET certification. New sheriffs with prior CLEET certification, who fail to attend the sheriff’s administrative school, shall have their CLEET certification revoked. Provided, however, the provisions of this section relating to qualifications shall not apply to any person serving as a county sheriff or to any person previously serving as county sheriff prior to the adoption of this statute.
Added by Laws 1976, c. 157, § 1, emerg. eff. May 28, 1976. Amended by Laws 1992, c. 181, § 4, eff. July 1, 1992; Laws 1999, c. 37, § 1, eff. Nov. 1, 1999; Laws 2000, c. 15, § 1, emerg. eff. April 3, 2000; Laws 2003, c. 184, § 2, eff. Nov. 1, 2003; Laws 2004, c. 53, § 5, emerg. eff. April 1, 2004.
Title 21. Crimes and Punishments §21-648. Definitions.
A. “Police officer”, “police” or “peace officer” means any duly appointed person who is charged with the responsibility of maintaining public order, safety, and health by the enforcement of all laws, ordinances or orders of this state or any of its political subdivisions and who is authorized to bear arms in execution of his responsibilities, including reserve force deputies, reserve municipal police officers, and tribal law enforcement officers who are commissioned pursuant to a cross-deputization agreement authorized by Section 1221 of Title 74 of the Oklahoma Statutes.
B. “Police dog” means any dog used by a law enforcement agency of this state, a political subdivision of this state or a tribal law enforcement officer who is commissioned pursuant to a cross-deputization agreement authorized by Section 1221 of Title 74 of the Oklahoma Statutes, which is especially trained for law enforcement work and is subject to the control of a dog handler.
C. “Police horse” means any horse which is used by a law enforcement agency of this state, a political subdivision of this state or a tribal law enforcement officer who is commissioned pursuant to a cross-deputization agreement authorized by Section 1221 of Title 74 of the Oklahoma Statutes for law enforcement work.
D. “Dog handler” means any police officer or peace officer who has successfully completed training in the handling of a police dog as established by the policy or standard of the law enforcement agency employing said officer.
Added by Laws 1965, c. 221, § 1, emerg. eff. June 16, 1965. Amended by Laws 1986, c. 54, § 1, eff. July 1, 1986; Laws 1990, c. 75, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1990; Laws 2001, c. 324, § 3, eff. July 1, 2001; Laws 2004, c. 57, § 1, emerg. eff. April 1, 2004.
Disclaimer: These codes may not be the most recent version. Oklahoma may have more current or accurate information. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site or the information linked to on the state site. Please check official sources.
The time frame for candidates to contest a candidacy ends at 5 p.m. Friday. In preparation for a contest the Tulsa County Election Board this week has scheduled a hearing date, which will take place on Dec. 17.
The 13 candidates who have filed to run for Sheriff:
- John Fitzpatrick – Republican
- Tom Helm – Republican
- Brandon Hendrix – Republican
- Jason Jackson – Republican
- Dan Miller – Republican
- Randy Pierce – Republican
- Bill Reaves – Republican
- Vic Regalado – Republican
- Erich Richter – Republican
- Luke Sherman – Republican
- Rex Berry – Democrat
- Henry Jones – Democrat
- Arthur Jackson – Independent
A special primary election is scheduled for March 1, 2016 with the special general election on April 5.
The candidates are running to replace longtime Sheriff Stanley Glanz who submitted his resignation effective Nov. 1, 2015, prompting the special election to fill the remainder of his term through Dec. 31, 2016.
Glanz resigned following a grand jury investigation in the wake of a deadly shooting involving Reserve Deputy Robert Bates. That grand jury investigation led to three misdemeanor indictments against the former sheriff.
A separate election will determine who becomes sheriff for the next four-year term. That filing period will be April 13-15, with a primary set for June 28. If necessary, a runoff would be held Aug. 23. The general election is Nov. 8.
You can find more information about the candidates on FortySix News Tulsa County Sheriff’s Special Election Page.