A Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office official involved in the supervision of 73-year-old volunteer deputy Robert Bates has resigned. According to a 2009 report that became public Friday, undersheriff Tim Albin helped suppress internal complaints about Bates’ performance and qualifications; on April 2 of this year, Bates shot and killed a suspected gun dealer named Eric Harris in what Bates has described as an accident. From the Tulsa World:
One finding says Bates used a personal vehicle outfitted with law enforcement equipment to stop vehicles without completing the required program.
According to the memo, Bates was asked if he was stopping cars and replied, “Well I can do it, and if you don’t like it you can talk to … Sheriff Glanz because I’m going to do it.”
In another instance outlined in the memo, a superior suggested a sergeant was harassing Bates after the sergeant sent the reserve a suspension letter for failing to meet firearm qualifications.
Albin, the official who resigned Monday, was accused in the 2009 report of intimidating employees who complained about Bates. From the AP:
On one occasion when [Sergeant Randy] Chapman complained to Albin that Bates was driving a personal car with police equipment prior to having the requisite training, Albin told him: “This is a s— sandwich and you will just have to eat it but not acquire a taste for it.”
The ’09 report also said that Bates, a major patron of the sheriff’s office, had not received special treatment when he was admitted to the reserve program despite not meeting its “internal standards”—because no one had met the standards at the time.
Bates is charged with second-degree manslaughter and has pleaded not guilty.