Claremore Daily Progress

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March 5, 2014

Hearing set to dismiss DAs defamation case

Grubowski asserts right to challenge his government

CLAREMORE —

Dueling motions have prompted a Tulsa County judge to swap the purpose of a March 26 court hearing.
The initial hearing to decide if District Attorney Janice Steidley’s motion to require businessman Myron Grubowski to accept a mediated settlement of the case was canceled.
Instead, Judge Carlos J. Chappelle announced Wednesday he will hear on that date Grubowski motion to dismiss the case.
The swap in motions is a result of a failed attempt to mediate with Grubowski.
If Grubowski prevails, the dispute will eliminate him as a defendant, leaving only Claremore police officers John Singer and Steve Cox. But if the judge rejects Grubowski’s motion, the case will proceed against all three defendants.
Steidley and her top two assistants filed the libel suit last fall against sponsors of an unsuccessful citizens’ petition for a local grand jury investigation of the DA’s office. Both sides met with mediators in early February to try to negotiate an out-of-court settlement.
Three petition sponsors — Sheriff Scott Walton, businessman Russell Guilfoyle and resident Billy D. Jones — agreed to mediated terms that dismissed them from the suit. 
As a result Walton and Guilfoyle’s insurance companies paid approximately $25,000 toward the DAs outside lawyers fees.
Previously Steidley claimed Grubowski also agreed to the terms of the settlement offer, but when he refused to sign the agreement they challenged his position in court. 
Negotiations continued without Grubowski resulting in the monetary settlement with Walton, Guilfoyle and Jones while prompting Steidley and her assistants to vacate on their request for judicial intervention.
Grubowski’s motion to dismiss will address the prosecutor’s original petition to the court. 
He is requesting Judge Chappelle award him legal fees resulting from the ongoing battle.

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