Claremore Daily Progress

Top Stories

August 20, 2013

DA told to investigate old courthouse access


Rogers County commissioners directed the district attorney Monday to launch a criminal investigation into what the chairman called unauthorized entry into the old courthouse.

No one was mentioned in the motion calling for the inquiry but chairman Kirt Thacker earlier had accused the Claremore Daily Progress of entering the building without permission.

Thacker’s accusations were prompted by an Aug. 4 story in the newspaper reporting on records — including names, addresses and Social Security numbers — left unsecured in a hallway of the open building. 

Thacker said two weeks ago he wanted the DA to look into “unauthorized entry into the old courthouse.”

In fact, Assistant Attorney David Iski was already investigating, according to county officials, including Sheriff Scott Walton.

Walton said he was asked to take an informational report of alleged trespassing on July 31, when a reporter found the records strewn about the old courthouse. Others said they’ve been interviewed or were approached by Iski to provide written statements.

Commissioners spent almost 40 minutes talking about the issue behind closed doors yesterday. They emerged to vote unanimously to ask for the investigation.

Commissioner Dan DeLozier said the board took up the matter at the request of the DA’s office.

In an interview, Walton said his department is not investigating the incident because he has determined allegations of unauthorized entry were without merit. He noted he was in direct contact with the newspaper on July 31, and “to his knowledge found nothing done by stealth or criminal intent.”

“The sheriff’s office is focused and successful at pursuing felony crimes and career criminals,” said Walton. “We are not in the business of using our resources to chase frivolous allegations of perceived wrongdoing by the media.” 

He added that the building has been easily accessible since last spring, when county offices began moving to the new courthouse across the street. The move was to be complete by July 31.

“It is common knowledge, since the building closed in April, any passerby could see people coming and going into the building — like Wal-Mart,” said Walton.

During Monday’s meeting, several citizens questioned commissioners’ timing and intentions.

They included Russell Guilfoyle, who asked the board if the DA should instead investigate who was responsible for security of the old courthouse and the records.

If an investigation shows the building was unsecured, Guilfoyle said, “I would respectfully request that you resign your positions for the security of the people of Rogers County.”

The records in the hallway were an index of people involved in cases handled by the district attorney’s office. Discovered by a reporter following up a tip, the index was composed of cards with details about those charged with crimes as well as victims — adults and juveniles.

Oklahoma law considers court records related to juvenile cases to be confidential and requires them to be sealed and secured.

To view the video from the meeting go to

Text Only
Top Stories
  • New Programs hosted in Foyil

    The Foyil Community Organization was launched in January with the purpose of providing residents with community events.

    July 30, 2014

  • Gutierrez awarded Health Foundation scholarship

    Evelyn Gutierrez of Claremore was recently awarded a scholarship from United Health Foundation’s Diverse Scholars Initiative to pursue a career in primary health care.

    July 30, 2014

  • Medical marijuana petition signing up thousands of new voters

    Medical marijuana may be the state’s newest gateway drug — to voting.
    Oklahomans for Health is spearheading a ballot drive to legalize the use of marijuana for medical purposes. The group has collected about 100,000 of the 156,000 signatures of registered voters it needs to get the issue on the ballot, according to its chairman, Chip Paul.

    July 30, 2014

  • City open records dispute continues

    The city of Claremore will pay $41,324.25 in attorney fees to the Vinita law firm who challenged their compliance with the Oklahoma Open Records Act.


    July 29, 2014

  • Claremore sisters featured on talk show

    During their recent trip to Los Angeles, Claremore sisters Lindsey and Whitney Martin made the most of their time in the city of angels, spending time with family, visiting several beaches, restaurants and Hollywood attractions.

    July 29, 2014 1 Link

  • Elementary students learn to bid at Zebra Stripes auction

    Claremore elementary students in the Zebra Stripes summer care program participated in a student-friendly auction Friday at Roosa Elementary. The auction was presented by Daneen Shepherd, realtor/broker and auctioneer of Tulsa, who taught the children how to bid on items efficiently and effectively.

    July 29, 2014 1 Link

  • Treasurer issues tax warrants

    For the first time, tax warrants are being issued in Rogers County to collect unpaid personal property taxes.
    This week, some local business owners should expect to be served by the Rogers County Sheriff’s office.
    Personal tax warrants have been issued to three local companies, who owe a total of approximately $38,000 in past due taxes.

    July 29, 2014

  • No evidence or human remains found

    Rogers County Sheriff’s deputies and assisting agencies vacated a Tiawah property Friday, after no evidence or human remains were found in connection to the disappearance of a local resident that went missing in 1996.

    July 27, 2014

  • RCLC launches letter campaign

    The Rogers County Literacy Council, RCLC, is launching their annual letter writing campaign.
     A United Way Organization, the council is asking for community support to help promote literacy in the English language.

    July 27, 2014

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Inequality crisis shot with factual problems, hypocrisy

    President Obama, various media and political liberals say inequality, of all things, is the defining issue of our times. Yet this message is delivered by multimillionaires and a president who jets from tee time to stump speech on the taxpayer's dime.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo