Kunzweiler asks for prosecutor

Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler has asked the state Attorney General to appoint another prosecutor to coordinate the Grand Jury investigation into the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office.

“In keeping with my office’s duty and responsibility to protect the integrity of the investigative process it is incumbent to avoid the appearance of any conflict,” Kunzweiler said. “The office of the Tulsa County District Attorney has historically provided legal counsel and advice to the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office. Based upon that previous and on-going duty of representation it is necessary for my office to recuse from guiding the empanelled grand jury.

“I have consulted with Attorney General Scott Pruitt regarding the need for the appointment of an independent District Attorney. It is my expectation that a decision will be made on my request for recusal in an expedited manner so as to not further delay these important proceedings.”

On April 2, 2015, Tulsa County Sheriff Reserve Deputy Robert Bates shot and killed Eric Harris. The Tulsa County DA filed second-degree manslaughter charges against Bates. The defendant is presumed to be innocent under the law. The Tulsa County District Attorney has not asked to recuse from prosecution of the case against Bates.