Tulsa councilor, mayor at odds over Human Rights Commission reappointment
BY KEVIN CANFIELD World Staff Writer
Friday, December 21, 2012
12/21/12 at 5:53 AM
City Councilor Jack Henderson accused Mayor Dewey Bartlett on Thursday of opposing the reappointment of Dennis Dubois to the Human Rights Commission because Dubois supported former Human Rights Director Lana Turner-Addison during her termination proceeding.
"This man backed Lana Turner-Addison. Is that what he is being held accountable for?" Henderson asked.
Dubois, 74, is up for re- appointment by the City Council after Bartlett failed to seek his reappointment within 60 days of his term expiring.
The mayor "fired the human rights director for no reason at all and made accusations, and now that person is coming back to this council making accusations about somebody who is a volunteer - not getting paid - and here we are trying to decide if we are going to let this person back or not," Henderson said.
"If I was this man, I would take the opportunity to seek (advice) and see if I had a case to sue somebody for defamation of character, because that is what it is."
Turner-Addison was fired in September. The city's pretermination notice lists several reasons for her firing, including the unauthorized use of city personnel or materials; theft and misappropriation of city property; and negligence, inefficiency or incompetence.
At a council committee meeting Thursday, Councilor G.T. Bynum said he wanted to give Dubois a chance to respond to what Bynum described as "a whole little whispering campaign" around City Hall regarding Dubois' two-plus years on the Human Rights Commission.
Bynum said the accusations against Dubois, outlined in a memo from the Mayor's Office, include that he used a city computer for personal business; that he worked for the city of Tulsa and/or Turner-Addison's private business; and that he "ordered Human Rights Department people around."
The city's Human Resources Department found that one-third to one-half of the approximately 6,600 files Dubois had on city equipment were personal in nature, including work on Turner-Addison's daughter's 2009 tax return and work done for Turner-Addison's private businesses.
Dubois said he was briefly paid for his work on the city's Program Review Committee, which is involved in the Community Development Block Grant process.
He said he did not believe that work to be a conflict of interest "because Dr. Turner told me that she had cleared that with legal and said it was OK for me to do that," he said.
Bartlett, who did not attend the council meeting, said there was no witch hunt and that it was never his intention to make public his concerns about Dubois.
He said he shared the information with councilors because it "is something the council should seriously consider before making an appointment."
The council will vote on Dubois' reappointment next month.
Original Print Headline: Reappointment spurs bickering
Kevin Canfield 918-581-8313
City Councilor Jack Henderson: He says Mayor Dewey Bartlett dragged his feet on a reappointment to the city Human Rights Commision for Dennis Dubois, 74, because Dubois supported the city's former Human Rights director, Lana Turner-Addison, who was fired in September. The mayor says there is no witch hunt