A petition supporting a grand jury probe into a former Owasso city manager and others associated with the municipality was filed Tuesday with the Tulsa County court clerk.
J.B. Alexander, who spearheaded the drive, delivered to the clerk 1,267 pages containing 9,642 signatures of reported Tulsa County voters, he said. The court clerk has a working day to copy the pages and deliver them to the Election Board, which has seven working days to verify the signatures.
By law, 5,000 signatures of registered county voters are needed to convene a grand jury, for which Presiding District Judge William Kellough would have to issue an order.
“At this point, we’re just hoping to let the grand jury process work and see what happens,” said attorney Christopher Camp, who represents Alexander. “I’m really proud of Mr. Alexander and the voters of Tulsa County for standing behind him and his call to investigate possible wrongdoing in the city of Owasso.”
Alexander’s petition asks a grand jury to look into “possible criminal activity and a possible pattern of public corruption in the Owasso city government.”
The documents claim that the alleged offenses “were committed in relation to or resulting from the actions of former City Manager Rodney Ray and his political allies and allegedly involved certain business transactions.”
Ray has declined to comment.
Following an executive session at a special meeting June 25, the City Council approved a resignation pact for Ray, extending him a severance package worth $185,073.
He had been suspended with pay May 24, the same day the City Council ordered an investigation into his office to look into an undisclosed employee ethics complaint.
In June, the city released two police videos of the Feb. 1 traffic stop of Vice Mayor Chris Kelley, who was driven home by police after first being told he was being arrested for DUI. Kelley never was charged or jailed in connection with the early morning stop, during which he said he had “had a few drinks.”
Ray, according to an internal memo, ordered the deletion of the videos in April.
Accompanying Alexander and Camp to the courthouse Tuesday were Chuck Wichmann and D.J. Gall. Alexander and Wichmann head a watchdog group called Owasso Taxpayer Alliance, and Gall is a former city councilor.
The grand jury petition includes 17 witnesses, the names of all but one of whom — Alexander — remain under seal, he said.