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An Oklahoma sheriff was indicted Wednesday by a grand jury called to investigate his office following the fatal shooting of an unarmed man by a volunteer deputy whose training had come into question.
Grand jurors indicted Tulsa Sheriff Staley Glanz on two misdemeanors counts, accusing the longtime sheriff of refusing to perform his official duties for not promptly releasing documents in an internal investigation related to the volunteer deputy, Robert Bates. Bates, one of Glanz's longtime friends, has said he mistook his handgun for a stun gun when he shot Eric Harris in April.
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The grand jury also recommended that Glanz resign. Glanz's attorney, Scott Wood, later said the sheriff — who has long refused calls to step down — would resign before a Nov. 10 hearing on the indictments.
The grand jury also accused Glanz of willful violation of the law in an unrelated incident involving a stipend he received for a vehicle allowance. Glanz plans to plead not guilty to both counts, Wood said after the court hearing where the charges were announced.
"Sheriff Glanz respects the process," Wood said outside the courtroom. "He respects the people."
Bates has pleaded not guilty to second-degree manslaughter in the fatal shooting of Harris, who was restrained in a Tulsa street after he was caught up in an alleged illegal gun-sales sting. Bates has since left the agency, and thousands of residents later called for a grand jury investigation.
Harris' brother, Andre Harris, also was in the packed courtroom Wednesday. He declined to comment on the case.
The court hearing was called just hours after grand jurors said they had completed their investigation. Grand jurors met behind closed doors for nine weeks and interviewed more than 30 witnesses, including Glanz.
The grand jury publicly submitted a list of eight recommendations, including that the sheriff's office improve its training and documentation, including better accountability of field training hours. It also suggested that the office's internal affairs department be more autonomous.
The recommendations appear to address a leaked 2009 memo that alleged top sheriff's office officials knew Bates was inadequately trained but pressured other officers to look away.