When Rep. Dean Davis was arrested Aug. 2 on suspicion of driving under the influence and obstructing a police officer, the Broken Arrow Republican called four fellow political figures, expressed confidence he could convince district attorneys to drop the charges and told a fellow legislator that the City of Broken Arrow had “just made an enemy.”
NonDoc obtained a series of Davis’ phone calls from the Broken Arrow Detention Center via open records request and has embedded two calls to his legislative colleagues below. Davis also called Tulsa County Sheriff Vic Regalado multiple times, once appearing to have dialed the wrong number, once leaving a message and twice hanging up after reaching Regalado’s voicemail. Davis also called Adrena Dunlap, a woman with whom he lives.
In the recordings, Davis (R-Broken Arrow) says he called and spoke to Broken Arrow Police Chief Brandon Berryhill upon being pulled over.
“I called Chief Berryhill, and he’s like, ‘Well just be nice to them,’ and I was, and then he goes, ‘Eh,’ and then they threw me up against the car and said I was resisting arrest,” Davis told Rep. T.J. Marti (R-Tulsa). “I was like, ‘What are you talking about?’ This is, like, wrong. It’s very wrong.”
Davis, 47, was stopped at 9:40 p.m. Friday, Aug. 2, in the 7900 block of S. Aspen Ave., according to a police report embedded at the bottom of this story. Officers were responding to a report of a drunk driver.
“When I approached the vehicle, I asked the driver, identified as Dean Davis, where he was coming from. Davis stated ‘a friend’s house.’ I asked Davis if he had been drinking alcohol this evening. Davis replied, ‘Yes, I’ve had a couple,'” BAPD Officer Erik Ishmael wrote in his report.
But nearly two hours later as Davis made phone calls from the Broken Arrow jail, he told Rep. Ross Ford (R-Tulsa) he was not intoxicated, that officers had driven him “back and forth” in custody for unknown reasons and that he had asked Ishmael for a “blood test” rather than a breathalizer examination of his blood alcohol content.
“Ross, I’m not drunk. I’m not anything. I’m, like, normal, and this is what’s killing me right now,” Davis said. “It sucks.”
Ford, who retired after 25 years as a Tulsa police officer, is married to Lisa Ford, a crime prevention specialist for the Broken Arrow Police Department.
Ross Ford spoke sparingly in the 15-minute phone recording provided by Broken Arrow City Attorney Trevor Dennis. (Dennis CC’d Davis on an email to NonDoc that said he would be providing the requested records as required by law.)
“I don’t know what happened because I wasn’t there,” Ford told Davis. “You need to try to — I think it’s probably past the time frame now — the breath test is the [state’s test].”
Monday, Ford spoke to NonDoc about the call he received from Davis.
“My attempt in the conversation was just to let Dean know that nothing could be done to help him once you’re arrested,” Ford said. “You just need to do what law enforcement tells you to do and submit to the breath test. I would never interfere with anything a law enforcement officer was trying to do in the performance of his job.”
The provided recording between Davis and Ford ends abruptly. Reached Monday, an assistant city attorney said the Broken Arrow Detention Center’s recording system shuts off shortly after 15 minutes of a call. As provided to NonDoc, the recordings were edited to remove phone numbers that Davis provided to Marti and Ford.
Davis has been charged in Tulsa County District Court with one count of speeding, one count of obstructing an officer and one count of felony DUI owing to a previous DUI charge from 2010. He was also arrested in 2002 for driving with a suspended license and outstanding municipal warrants.
Davis ‘deeply sorry to my family, community and colleagues’
Monday evening, Davis returned a text message seeking comment for this story, and Tulsa attorney Bruce Edge called on his behalf.
“I think the story is going to turn out much, much different than what it appears on the surface,” Edge said. “I think there have been mistakes made. A lot of mistakes. Everybody can point the finger different directions. I don’t want to get into who, what, where and when. I think in a rush to make some decisions, things were not done properly. I think we will see a drastically different case when it’s all presented.”
Davis reiterated his apology and embarrassment in a statement he had previously provided to the Tulsa World.
“I am embarrassed by this situation and deeply sorry to my family, community and colleagues,” Davis wrote. “There are aspects of this I intend to address in court, but I understand the very appearance of impropriety is unacceptable and apologize for putting myself in this position.”
Davis said his statement was “from the heart.”
“My role as a legislator carries the responsibility to lead by example, and in this case I should have done better in that regard,” Davis said. “I will be ensuring this does not happen again while working through the due process of the justice system.”
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‘I can talk to the DAs, which then they’ll drop it.’
At 11:11 p.m. Aug. 2, Davis’ first phone call from the Broken Arrow Detention Center was to T.J. Marti, his Capitol officemate and friend.
“One of my old students is here,” said Davis, a former Broken Arrow South Intermediate High School physical education teacher and coach. “He gave me like an option. I get to call a few people. And so I need you to get on the horn and help me out here.”
Marti asked Davis how he could help. Both men were elected to the Oklahoma House in 2018.
“I don’t know,” Davis replied. “Either talk to Chief Berryhill or Regalado and — the officer who arrested me wasn’t very nice.”
Marti, a pharmacist, said he had already spoken to Ford, who joined the Legislature after a special election in 2017.
“I called Ross. Ross called everyone,” Marti said. “He’s like, ‘Dude, there’s nothing I can do.’ (…) I mean, tell me what to do. We know fucking — we know more people in Oklahoma City than we do in Tulsa.”
“We know more people in Oklahoma City and the Capitol and doing stuff,” Davis said, the two men speaking over one another for a few seconds.
Marti reiterated that Ford’s wife works for the Broken Arrow Police Department.
“Yeah, I know,” Davis said. “This is not going to help Broken Arrow at all because they just made an enemy, and that’s not good at all. You know that.”
Minutes later, Marti asked Davis why he believed he would be transferred to the county-operated D.L. Moss Correctional Center. Davis asked an officer in the room and relayed the answer to Marti.
“All DUIs go through county. They have to go through district court,” Davis said. “Which, I can talk to the DAs, which then they’ll drop it.”
Marti offered Davis a warning.
“Hey, don’t be cocky and piss those guys off,” Marti said.
Davis said he was not being cocky and again referenced his former student before saying, “I apologize.”
Marti asked if he would be able to call Davis back after talking to other people. Davis said no.
“They don’t want to talk to anybody. Trust me,” Davis said with a laugh. “You can’t call up here. You can talk to those guys that I talked to, and then figure out where I’m at and then come get me. I love you.”
Davis then reminded Marti he would need to be bailed out of jail.
“I need my bail bonded out,” Davis said. “I have to get bonded out. It’s $1,000 probably. I love you.”
Marti replied: “Yep. Love you. Bye.”
Reached Monday, Marti said he simply wanted to support his friend during a difficult situation.
“It was a high-anxiety time for Dean, so he reached out to his friend,” Marti said. “By no means did I pull any strings or do anything nefarious. I simply tried to calm him down and woke up at 4 a.m. to go down there and bail him out.”
Marti said he met Davis while they were running for election in 2018 and have “spent a lot of time together.” But he said he had not seen Davis on Aug. 2.
“I was just there to support him as I would with any of my friends,” Marti said.
After release, Davis traveled to NCSL meeting
After Davis called Marti from jail, he called Dunlap, the woman with whom he owns a Wagoner County property. NonDoc has not published that call’s audio because Dunlap is a private citizen and not an elected official.
In general, however, Dunlap appears stressed by Davis’ arrest, at one point saying she is “sick to my stomach.”
Two minutes into their conversation, Dunlap asked Davis if he has eaten recently:
Dunlap: Have you had anything to eat since breakfast?
Davis: No. [indecipherable]
Dunlap: OK. That tells me a lot.
Dunlap: Because I know who you were with and what you were doing, and that tells me a lot.
Dunlap also asked Davis if he is going out of town the next day as planned.
“If I can get out of jail,” Davis said with a laugh. “8:55 is my airplane.”
Multiple people with connection to the Oklahoma State Capitol confirmed that Davis did travel to Nashville, Tennessee, for the annual meeting of the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Davis to sheriff: ‘I would really appreciate your assistance’
In his conversation with Dunlap, Davis noted that he was planning to call Tulsa County Sheriff Vic Regalado.
“I talk to Regalado on the phone all the time because you know I passed the sheriff’s bill and do stuff with them. So I can call him in a second,” Davis said. “I’m going to piss him off, but I’m going to call him anyway.”
Moments later, he placed a call that was answered by a man who appeared to have been sleeping. The man said, “wrong number” and hung up.
Davis then placed three calls that all went to Regalado’s voicemail box. Davis left a message on the first call only (embedded below):
Sheriff Regalado, this is Dean Davis, Rep. Davis. I’m over here at the Broken Arrow Detention Center because I just got arrested, and I’m probably going to be sent over to your establishment. So I was calling you. So if you would, I would really appreciate your assistance and help. I’m going to call you back right now. Thank you.
By the end of his calls Aug. 2, Davis seemed to realize his phone conversations were being recorded.
“So … which … are you on their phone?” Ford asked Davis.
Davis replied: “Oh yeah, I am. I mean, this is recorded. I don’t care.”
“No, I don’t. It’s just the truth,” Davis said. “I’m telling you the truth.”
Rep. Dean Davis phone call to Rep. T.J. Marti
Rep. Dean Davis phone call to Rep. Ross Ford
Rep. Dean Davis phone call to Sheriff Vic Regalado
Rep. Dean Davis Aug. 2, 2019, arrest report