Claremore Daily Progress

State/Nation

October 3, 2013

DA asks court to unseal grand jury petition names

Motion also seeks removal of judge from case

CLAREMORE —

District Attorney Janice Steidley filed a motion Thursday requesting Grady County Judge Richard Van Dyck vacate his order sealing signatures on a citizens petition calling for a grand jury investigation of her office.

She also requested Van Dyck recuse himself from further proceedings involving the petition and the possible convening of a grand jury. She was joined in the motion by Assistant District Attorneys David Iski and Bryce Lair.
Van Dyck sealed the signatures Wednesday at the request of the sponsors or the petition drive. They claimed some of the signers feared retaliation because the targets of the petition were public officials.
DA Steidley claimed the judge acted without notifying her office about the “extraordinary sealing motion” in advance even though it was submitted by one of the petition sponsors, Claremore Police Detective John Singer, prior to the judge’s ruling.
She said the timing shows “a collaboration between Mr. Singer [Claremore Police Detective John Singer] and Judge Van Dyck before the motion to seal was filed.”
The Claremore Daily Progress received a copy of the filed motion approximately one hour prior to Van Dyck issuing the order sealing the petition signatures. It was also on file at the county clerk’s office. 
In addition to questioning the legality of the sealing procedure, DA Stiedley took issue with the judge’s reasoning for issuing his order.
She said the “purported justification for sealing the completed petitions was baseless,” and “the assertion that, without the sealing order, the signatories to the petition would be subject to ‘retaliation’ is both false and speculative.”
Van Dyck did not comment or rule on the district attorney’s motion to unseal the records and recuse himself from the case.
In a related development, The Daily Progress obtained through an open records request a video showing DA Steidley and Jenny Bentley, Rogers County Human Resources Director, entering the county courthouse after hours Wednesday.

Text Only
State/Nation
  • Perry: Texas plans to send 1,000 guardsmen to border

    Texas Gov. Rick Perry plans to deploy as many as 1,000 National Guard troops to South Texas to bolster security along the Mexico border, a local lawmaker confirmed Monday.

    July 21, 2014

  • NASA renames building for Neil Armstrong

    NASA has honored one of its most famous astronauts by renaming a key building at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

    July 21, 2014

  • New arrivals worry some in the Oklahoma panhandle

    A family who says they were excommunicated from Warren Jeffs' polygamous sect has moved to a small city located in the Oklahoma Panhandle, raising concerns among some residents.

    July 20, 2014

  • Celebrate 45 years since man's first steps on the moon

    Now's the time to get moonstruck.

    Forty-five years ago Sunday, Apollo 11's Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to set foot on another world. Armstrong's "one small step ... one giant leap" on the dusty lunar surface July 20, 1969, still stirs hearts.

    July 20, 2014

  • US outlines case against Russia on downed plane

    Video of a rocket launcher, one surface-to-air missile missing, leaving the likely launch site. Imagery showing the firing. Calls claiming credit for the strike. Recordings said to reveal a cover-up at the crash site.

    July 20, 2014

  • Oklahoma Capitol renovation project previewed

    State officials have previewed preliminary plans for renovating the century-old Oklahoma State Capitol amid a display of artifacts from groundbreaking ceremonies for the structure.

    July 17, 2014

  • House passes tax breaks to boost charitable giving

    The House passed a package of tax breaks Thursday designed to boost charitable donations by seniors, private foundations and procrastinators.

    One provision provides tax breaks to people over 70 who make donations from their individual retirement accounts. Another reduces excise taxes on private charitable foundations.

    July 17, 2014

  • Should online accounts die when you die?

    Should your emails, web albums and other online accounts die when you do? Or should you be able to pass them down to a family member much as you would a house or a box of letters?

    July 17, 2014

  • Obama, Putin discuss Malaysia Plane incident

    The Kremlin says Russian President Vladimir Putin and President Barack Obama have discussed the Malaysia Airlines plane incident over eastern Ukraine.

    July 17, 2014

  • Microsoft cutting 18,000 jobs

    Microsoft announced the biggest layoffs in its history Thursday, saying it will cut 18,000 jobs or 14 percent of its workforce as it streamlines its Nokia mobile device business to focus on using the Windows Phone operating system.

    July 17, 2014

Poll

Do you prefer the warm summer weather of 2013 or the mild rainy weather we are currently experiencing?

Hot/Dry Summer
Mild/Wet Summer
I prefer any season but Summer.
I don't have an opinion.
     View Results
Featured Ads
AP Video
Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites Anti-violence Advocate Killed, but Not Silenced. Dempsey: Putin May Light Fire and Lose Control Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase