Claremore Daily Progress

October 8, 2013

6,994 signatures verified for Grand Jury

Salesha Wilken
Staff Reporter

CLAREMORE —

The Rogers County Election Board certified 6,994 verified signatures of register voters who signed a grand jury petition to investigate District Attorney Janice Steidley her three assistants and two county commissioners.

The petition sponsored by six petitioners, including Rogers County Sheriff Scott Walton, requests an investigation of DA Steidley, DA Assistants Bryce Lair, David Iski and Tim Wantland as well as commissioner Mike Helm and Kirt Thacker.
Petitioner John Singer and Walton turned in 7,711 signatures last Wednesday to Rogers County Court Clerk Kim Henry for verification.
The election board took four business days to complete the process, eliminating only 717 signatures from the 648 pages submitted.
Petitioners were required to collect 4,487 signatures of registered voters in order to convene the grand jury.
Grady County Judge Richard Van Dyck ordered a hearing set for 1 p.m. on Oct. 18 to rule on the convening of a grand jury investigation in Rogers County in anticipation of the election board’s certification of the petition this week. The hearing will be in Room 6 of the Rogers County Courthouse and is open to the public.
The verification process was completed about a week in advance of the initial deadline for signature collection.
Once Judge Van Dyck rules on the certification of the petition, a grand jury will be set to convene in 30 days.
Election Board Secretary Julie Dermody issued a letter with the filing.
“The Rogers County Election Board has completed the verification process… utilizing the petition verification procedure provided by the State Election Board,” Dermody wrote. “We have thoroughly examined each signature.”
The names on the petition were looked up in the Modern Election Support Application by two means, last name and street segment, according to Dermody.
If signatures were printed or hard to verify the election board used the Rogers County Assessor’s records to verify location and a hard copy of voter registration cards to verify the signature, she said. 
The signatures were checked and then anyone marked out as not registered were checked again to insure proper verification was complete, according to the document.
Dermody filed the signatures with Henry, who time date stamped the certification and scanned the documents into the Oklahoma State Court Network in the grand jury case.