Claremore Daily Progress

May 21, 2014

Device explodes in DA’s mailbox day of grand jury findings

Staff Reports
Claremore Progress

CLAREMORE —

District Attorney Janice Steidley reported Wednesday an explosive device damaged her roadside mailbox outside her home the day a state grand jury found insufficient evidence to support most criminal misconduct accusations against her.
Steidley said she considered the Tuesday incident a threat and ordered her office to investigate. No one was injured in the blast, which was contained in the mailbox.
The U.S. Postal Service is also looking into the matter. The Rogers County Sheriff’s Office said it is not investigating because Steidley did not ask it to get involved.
“I do take it as a threat,” said Steidley. “And I don’t appreciate it.”
Steidley did not describe the device or say what time of day it went off or if anyone witnessed the explosion.
Steidley said she does not know if the incident was related to the release of the state grand jury findings but that her office is “looking at surveillance tape and talking to different witnesses around her home.”
The district attorney and her husband live just south of Claremore in the community of Verdigris. Her husband is an attorney and is representing her in at least two pending civil lawsuits.
Steidley disclosed the mailbox explosion at a news conference called to respond to the state grand jury report also released Tuesday.
The state grand jury has been investigating since October accusations of misconduct and malfeasance contained in an unsuccessful citizens’ petition for a local grand jury investigation of the district attorney’s office.
The state grand jury concluded that most of the allegations contained in the petition signed by more than 7,000 county residents were not supported by sufficient evidence to return criminal indictments.