When Robert Bates met a former colleague at a restaurant, he thought he was having a private conversation about a legal battle involving the sale of his insurance company.

But Bates, the volunteer Tulsa County deputy now facing a manslaughter charge for shooting an unarmed suspect, did not know the 2012 conversation was being secretly recorded by his companion, who was the company's new president.

During the exchange, Bates boasted of his connections in law enforcement and suggested he could make life miserable for the plaintiffs.

The recording was obtained by The Associated Press from court files. It shows Bates bragging about using his position in the sheriff's office to help powerful friends and discussing how being a volunteer deputy added a spark to his life.