Claremore Daily Progress

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September 1, 2013

Grand jury petition shows chasm between law officers, DA

Complaints range from corruption to lying to mishandling sex cases

(Continued)

CLAREMORE —

Steidley has maintained that she was obligated to disclose information about Singer. But the petitioners say the DA and her assistant, Lair, “manufactured bogus allegations of perjury” against the detective involving an 18-month-old rape case, because he’d been openly critical of Steidley.
As a result, Singer has sued Steidley in federal court, with the city weighing in on his behalf. The state attorney general also investigated Steidley’s claims and recently cleared Singer.
Related to that dispute, the petition claims Iski, one of Steidley’s assistants, “intentionally” misled a judge in court filings that involved Singer in a criminal case and a juvenile case.
Focus on sex crimes
The petition for a grand jury accuses Steidley of targeting another critic, Pryor police officer James Willyard, for recruiting someone to run against her.
It also focuses on how she and her staff handle cases of sex crimes involving children. 
Jones, one of the petitioners, has been a vocal critic of the DA’s office since Lair initially declined to file charges in an incident involving Jones’ two daughters, claiming the children had consented to the alleged sexual acts. Jones eventually went public, the case was reassigned, and it is now set for an Oct. 7 trial.
The petition accuses Steidley of releasing Jones’ name and telephone number to a Tulsa World reporter - despite Jones’ wishes at the time to remain anonymous.
In two other cases, the petition accuses Steidley’s assistant Wantland of violating victims rights laws by not disclosing plea bargains to the parents of child victims, nor giving them access to make victim impact statements.
The petition further claims Wantland “misled” a judge by saying the family of one victim had signed off on a plea agreement that reduced the severity of the crime and its related sentence.

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