Claremore Daily Progress

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October 2, 2013

UPDATE: 7,711 signatures filed for Grand Jury probe

Judge Van Dyck seals signers names, verification process begins

(Continued)

CLAREMORE —

She said the names will be turned over immediately to the Rogers County Election Board for verification.
The election board has seven days to determine if the signatures meet legal requirements to convene a grand jury.
“We are planning to stop everything and devote our time to doing the verification,” said Julie Dermody, election board secretary. “We will be thorough and complete to get them done in a timely manner.”
State law requires the election board to give the “benefit of the doubt” to petition signers when close-call questions arise. Signatures must be counted if the signers are registered voters in Rogers County, even if addresses are not correct or they are omitted. 
If sufficient signatures are validated, Judge Van Dyck will order a grand jury to convene within 30 days to begin inquiry into the issues of corruption and other wrongdoing raised in the petition.
Judge Van Dyck was assigned to review the legality of the citizens petition by the chief justice of the Oklahoma Supreme Court because the presiding judge of the Rogers County District Court, Dwayne Steidley, is the first-cousin of DA Steidley’s husband.. 
Joining Sheriff Walton and Singer in sponsoring the petition for a grand jury investigation were Claremore Police Lt. Steve Cox; local businessmen Russell Guilfoyle and Myron Grubowski; and Billy D. Jones, the father of two juvenile rape victims.
Jones is one of many volunteers who collected signatures at the Rogers County Fair, local football games, public events, petition headquarters, as well as, at the drive-thru petition stop along J.M. Davis Boulevard.
“It is great to see the people take an interest in what is taking place,” Jones said. 
“It was hard work, but I am proud of the people of Rogers County for speaking out and saying they want change.”

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