Claremore Daily Progress

Crime/Courts

February 1, 2013

DA Steidley targets CPD officer with Giglio

DA must defend accusations, Chief Brown perplexed by action

CLAREMORE — District Attorney Janice Steidley has questioned a police detective’s credibility as a witness in a 2011 rape case, prompting objections from city officials and the detective, who says it could cost him his job.

Steidley recently mailed information to defense attorneys regarding Claremore Police Detective John F. Singer’s role in the rape conviction that involved the defendant admitting guilt in a videotaped interview with the detective.

Steidley says she must disclose the information because of U.S. Supreme Court rulings that force prosecutors to turn over information that could help defendants refute the credibility of government witnesses, including police.

The withheld evidence - called Giglio material in reference to a 1972 Supreme Court case - can scar a police officer’s reputation.

Singer filed a motion Tuesday in Rogers County District Court to contest Steidley’s action, saying he was “informed by his superiors that if the material is, in fact, Giglio material, his employment with the Claremore Police Department will be terminated.” 

“My concern in this matter is multi-faceted. Primarily I am troubled by the fact that I was informed by the DA that she and her staff had reached a conclusive determination of this officer’s wrongful or unlawful behavior 18 months after the alleged action occurred and three months after the case was resolved in court,” said Claremore Police Chief Stan Brown.  “I am also puzzled by the fact that the DA has been using this officer for expert testimony and as a witness since the resolution of the case in which his alleged wrongful actions occurred. The DA advised me she had determined the action(s) rose to the level of Giglio impairment and she had already began the process of sharing that information with defense attorneys and other prosecutorial authorities”

City officials also filed a similar motion to intervene.

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