Claremore Daily Progress

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September 4, 2013

UPDATE: Police officials want state investigation of DA Steidley

CLAREMORE —

Officers from nine law enforcement agencies are asking the State Bureau of Investigation to launch a criminal probe of District Attorney Janice Steidley and members of her staff — a move Steidley’s attorney calls a “mutiny.”

Claremore Police Chief Stan Brown said the group wants the OSBI to investigate complaints involving the DA’s office, though he did not publicly detail those claims. He said the agency would provide any findings to a grand jury for review.
“We see this as the only way,” Brown said during a news conference Wednesday in Claremore.
Participating in the announcement were members of the sheriff’s departments in Rogers and Craig counties, as well as police departments in Catoosa, Inola, Talala, Oologah and Pryor, and the Cherokee Nation Marshal’s Service.  They were joined by Claremore City Manager Jim Thomas and representatives of the Fraternal Order of Police.
Their request comes as a group of Rogers County citizens — led by Sheriff Scott Walton — gather signatures on a petition calling for a grand jury investigation of Steidley, three assistants and two county commissioners. That petition, certified by a judge last week, raises an array of allegations, including that the DA’s office mishandled cases involving juvenile victims of sex crimes.
The citizens’ petition is separate from the request for an investigation of the district attorney by the OSBI.
Several officials present at the news conference hesitated when asked to comment about Steidley, but nodded in agreement as Brown described concerns about the DA’s office.
“In order for the system to be fixed, there has to be truth,” he said. “We see this as the only way through this broken system. Law enforcement is here to serve the citizens and to help bring justice to crime victims. The goal is for the truth to prevail.”

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