13 candidates for sheriff; 4 face qualification challenges

Thirteen people have filed to run for Tulsa County sheriff but one candidate has filed a challenge to three others.

Republican Jason Jackson, a sergeant with the Jenks Police Department, filed a complaint against John Fitzpatrick, Arthur Jackson and Henry Jones, claiming that they don’t have all the requirements to run for sheriff.

Jason Jackson said Arthur Jackson filed as an Independent but is registered as a Democrat. The allegation is that you cannot switch parties within six months of filing for an office.

Jason Jackson’s complaint against Fitzpatrick and Jones is that state law technically states that in a county with a population of 500,000 or more the applicant must be a “current certified peace officer in good standing.”  A document from Steve Emmons, executive director of the Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training does not list  Jones as being currently CLEET certified. Emmons said   that letter was based on a name search only.

Republican candidate Tom Helm is contesting the candidacy of Eric Richter.  Richter changed his political affiliation from Democrat to Republican. According to Oklahoma State law, candidates must be registered with the same party six months prior to filing for candidacy.

The qualifications under state law include:

  • State resident for two years
  • Registered voter of the party whose nomination he or she seeks or a registered Independent from the county for six months before the filing period
  • Must be 25 years of age
  • In a county of 500,000 or more, must be a certified police office in good standing

“The law is crystal clear about the qualifications to run for Tulsa County Sheriff,” said Jackson.  “And three candidates are in violation of the law.”

Fitzpatrick, who is a certified reserve officer, said that Jackson is misreading the statute. Emmons listed Fitzpatrick in his list of certifications.

Jackson claims the Oklahoma statutes make a clear distinction between a certified peace officer and a certified reserve officer. “The Legislature was very intentional when they used the term ‘current certified peace officer in good standing,'” said Jackson.

Jackson said CLEET doesn’t disclose whether an officer is in “good standing” or not, so he is going to release his CLEET file and he is calling on the other candidates to do the same.

The candidates who filed are:

Democrats

  • Rex Berry is a former officer with the Tulsa Police Department who retired in 1999 after 26 years with the department.
  • Henry Jones

Republicans

  • John Fitzpatrick has been a reserve officer for the Tulsa Police Department for 10 years. He has worked with homicide detectives, retail crime detectives, bicycle patrol and the Special Investigation Division.
  • Tom Helm worked as a Tulsa County deputy for 20 years before retiring. He supervised narcotics, Internal Affairs and is an agent for the Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office.
  • Brandon Hendrix was hired as a Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office deputy in 2002. He is a school resource officer.
  • Jason Jackson is an 18-year veteran of the Jenks Police Department as a day-shift patrol sergeant. He has worked in narcotics, interdiction and the detective division. He has supervised the training program.
  • Dan Miller is a Tulsa Police Department corporal with 20 years on the force. A detective in the Auto Theft Division, he was a North Tulsa field patrol supervisor for 15 years.
  • John “Randy” Pierce is a sergeant with the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office and has been for 22 years.
  • Vic Regalado is a 21-year veteran sergeant with the Tulsa Police Department overseeing the night-shift Special Investigations Gang Unit. He has been with the agency for 21 years and is a former lead detective.
  • Erich Richter was a deputy with the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office for two years and for one year with the Payne County Sheriff’s Office.
  • Luke Sherman is a Tulsa Police Department sergeant who leads its Fugitive Warrants Unit. He has been with the department for 23 years and has been on its SWAT team for 10 years.
  • William T. Reaves is a former Tulsa County Sheriff’s lieutenant who was fired by former Sheriff Stanley Glanz.

A primary election is set for March 1 with the general election April 5. The winner replaces Glanz, who resigned after a grand jury investigation resulted in two misdemeanor charges against Glanz.

Independents

  • Arthur Jackson is a corporal in the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office who was hired in 2005. He is a detention officer and a supervisor.

A primary in advance of the special general election is scheduled for March 1. The special general election is slated for April 5.

The winner will take over the balance of former sheriff Stanley Glanz’s term, which expires Dec. 31, 2016. Glanz resigned this fall following a grand jury inquiry into his office and its operations.

The general election to serve the next four-year term as sheriff is set for Nov. 8.

That candidate filing period is April 13-15, with a primary June 28. A runoff would take place Aug. 23 if necessary.