Lawsuit involving Improve Our Tulsa filed

TULSA, Okla. — A lawsuit has been filed against the City of Tulsa and Mayor G.T. Bynum.

The lawsuit accuses Bynum and city officials of hosting illegal meetings surrounding the Improve our Tulsa initiative, which was approved by voters on Tuesday.

City Councilor Grant Miller says he was invited to one of those meetings in March. He says Bynum wanted him and other councilors to meet with him in his office.

If three councilors meet at a time, it wouldn’t be considered a quorum. This means that those involved would not have to post an agenda or host an open meeting.

Miller described one of those meetings.

“It was just kind of taking a temperature on whether or not we should go forward with an IOT package,” said Miller.

IOT stands for Improve Our Tulsa, the $814 million dollar improvement plan that was approved this week.

However, those meetings in March could have violated the Open Meetings Act, which means the City of Tulsa could run into legal issues.

That’s an argument that Tulsa attorney Ronald Durbin plans to make.

“We’ve got all nine city councilors gone through this that we can have, we can decide what’s going to be done outside of the meeting,” said Durbin. “All for the purposes of avoiding the Oklahoma Open Meetings Act. That’s a serial meeting. It’s a series of meetings designed to not talk about the stuff during the public city council meetings.”

Durbin said these meetings were illegal.

“That’s the problem. The Government doesn’t hold itself accountable until somebody steps up and tries to hold them accountable. And we did,” said Durbin.

The lawsuit says “Key discussions were held in small, private nonpublic meetings where Bynum met with small groups of city council members to push his agenda away from public scrutiny.”

It comes to say that “the effect of this strategy ultimately kept everyone in the dark about the process of putting Improve our Tulsa on the ballot to reduce opposition.”

Durbin said that the approval could be invalidated. The City of Tulsa says they do not comment on pending litigation.

“We need accountability. We need transparency.”

The Improve Our Tulsa plan keeps taxes as is, and then will take over the current tax in 2025.

You can read the full lawsuit here.

Comments on this article





mobile apps

Everything you love about krmg.com and more! Tap on any of the buttons below to download our app.

amazon alexa

Enable our Skill today to listen live at home on your Alexa Devices!