Gunfight in OK Second District
Published: August 21st, 2012
Long before he was a Republican congressional candidate, Markwayne Mullin owned a successful Westville plumbing business in which one of his employees was Timothy Lee Saylor, a convicted felon with an affection for handguns.
Saylor is in jail again, this time for the illegal 2009 purchase of a handgun.
Mullin is now running in the Republican primary for the 2nd Congressional District seat that U.S. Rep. Dan Boren will vacate after the November election. Because of Mullin’s connection to Saylor,
Democrats may be hoping for a Mullin primary victory on Aug. 28.
That’s because Mullin’s critics say he’s more than merely Saylor’s former employer. Citing police and
press reports (and work published by Tulsa Today here) they allege that law enforcement officials could explore evidence that Mullin purchased the weapon that sent Saylor back to prison. Democrats say they believe such doubts about Mullin will hobble his general-election run and give them a seat once considered a likely GOP win.
Mullin told police that he gave Saylor a gun for cleaning, but knew nothing of Saylor’s felony conviction in California — a conviction that would make gun possession illegal.
Mullin has mounted a vigorous defense featuring a letter from former U.S. Attorney David O’Meilia asserting that Mullin is “a cooperating witness, not a suspect” in the Saylor matter. Tulsa County Sheriff Stanley Glanz also is in Mullin’s corner.
Now the tables have turned again. In the letter published below, Tulsa attorney Gary Richardson alleges O’Meilia’s finding is incomplete — and suggests that Mullin is indeed tied more closely to Saylor than he has admitted.
In another startling revelation, Richardson said Glanz told him that the Mullin campaign asked him to write a letter exonerating Mullin. Glanz wrote the letter, but, Richardson alleged, Glanz now says “the letter may very well not be of any value.”
Richardson is no neutral observer. He acknowledges that he examined the Mullin-Saylor relationship as an assist to candidate George Faught of Muskogee, a three-term state representative who trails Mullin in the primary race.
But Richardson’s also no lightweight. As a Republican, he ran twice for the 2nd District seat himself (in 1978 and 1980), once for governor as an independent, and served from 1981 to 1984 as Ronald Reagan‘s U.S. attorney.
He’s also accustomed to the role of spoiler. His 2002 independent run for governor won 14 percent of the vote in a race that went to Democrat Brad Henry by a margin of less than 2 percent.
Here’s the complete text of Richardson’s letter, a copy of which he gave to CapitolBeatOK:
To Whom It May Concern:
My name is Gary L. Richardson, an Oklahoma Licensed Attorney since 1975.
Since becoming an Oklahoma Licensed Attorney, I served as Assistant District Attorney in and for Muskogee County in the mid-70s and after having been appointed by former President Ronald Reagan, served as the United States Attorney for the Eastern District Of Oklahoma from 1981-1984. Since resigning from the position of United States Attorney, I have been in the private practice of law with offices in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
I have been asked by US Congressional Candidate George Faught, to provide him with my opinion regarding an investigation, as well as my opinion of a letter written by Sheriff Glanz, written on behalf of Mr. Markwayne Mullin and his campaign for Congress involving the execution of a search warrant conducted by law enforcement at the place of business owned and operated by Mr. Mullin. Also asked is my opinion as to whether or not Mr. Mullin is subject to indictment.
This opinion is submitted by me as a private citizen who has the necessary legal training and experience to give such an opinion. This opinion does not represent the law firm’s opinion with which I currently practice law as no other member of the firm has reviewed the material to which I reference.
In addition to reviewing a stack of documents provided to me by Mr. Faught, I also had a private conversation with Sherriff Glanz who has previously provided a letter on behalf of Mr. Mullin, wherein he made certain comments about the things that Mr. Faught has been saying on the campaign trail about the above referenced investigation.
In my conversation with Sherriff Glanz he told me that he was asked, by the campaign staff of Mr. Mullin to provide the letter and that in preparing to write the letter that he read the Court filings involved in the case against Mr. Saylor, but that he had not had the opportunity to review the file that contains the investigation.
He also said that the letter may very well not be of any value. As a former Assistant District Attorney and former United States Attorney, I am of the opinion that in order for one to draw a valid conclusion as to whom will be prosecuted in a case such as this, that this conclusion cannot be drawn by looking at the Court pleadings, but would necessitate having access to the contents of the entire investigation file. Too, that one drawing such a conclusion would need to know the Federal Criminal Statutes.
I believe that I have sufficient facts, training and experience to state the following:
As to whether or not Candidate Mullin is free of potential prosecution for his involvement with guns involving an employee of his business and resulting in the prosecution of Mr. Timothy Saylor, a convicted felon, I am of the opinion that the Statue of Limitations does not run on this issue until the year 2014. The records I was furnished do show that a search warrant was conducted at Mullin Plumbing, by law enforcement, including the ATF, and that during the course of this search warrant that weapons were retrieved that were in the possession and control of an employee of Mullin Plumbing, convicted felon Timothy Saylor.
I also understand, from what I have been told that Mr. Mullin admitted to having provided this convicted felon with at least one of the weapons and further, that a local gun dealer claims that Mr. Mullin matched the description of the buyer of a Russian Assault Weapon that was later found by officers in the home of Mr. Saylor.
Sheriff Glanz also says in the letter he provided to the Mullin campaign, at their request, that Mr. Mullin cooperated with the officers involved in the investigation. One would need to read the affidavit that Mr. Mullin provided in assisting the defense of the Saylor criminal case, in order to draw their own conclusion as to whether or not they believe this to be the case. Personally, I conclude that Mr. Mullin’s affidavit was provided for the purpose of supporting the defense of his former employee, Timothy Saylor. My opinion is that in the affidavit, Mr. Mullin draws into question the veracity of the federal investigation, including ATF officers, and was an effort, in my opinion, to assist in the defense of Mr. Saylor’s criminal prosecution. In my years of experience as a law enforcement officer, serving as Assistant DA and US Attorney, this would not compute to trying to assist in the prosecution of Mr. Saylor, but rather, In the defense of Mr. Mullin’s former employee, Timothy Saylor.
Whether or not Mr. Mullin will ever be indicted for his involvement with the guns that were in the possession of Mr. Saylor, recovered in the execution of the search warrant that was executed at the Mullin Plumbing business and at Mr. Saylor’s home, I cannot say. But I do know this; the decision is in the hands of the current and recently sworn in United States Attorney for the Northern “District of Oklahoma as to whether or not the decision is made to take the investigation to a Grand Jury for consideration. I would think that if the decision had been made for this not to be done, that Mr. Mullin would have a letter from the US Attorney’s office, whom I understand is in charge of this investigation, not a County Sheriff and a former US Attorney, who will not be making that decision.
You may contact Patrick B. McGuigan at Patrick@capitolbeatok.com and follow us on Twitter: @capitolbeatok.