Claremore Daily Progress

State/Nation

May 24, 2014

DA dismissive of remaining grand jury issues

CLAREMORE —

District Attorney Janice Steidley contends a grand jury’s incomplete findings on claims she wrongly accused a police detective of perjury and misled federal officials in an employee firing dispute are meritless accusations by her detractors.

“I have been cleared,” said Steidley. “It is that simple.”

She made the statement in a Friday email responding to The Daily Progress’ request to comment on remaining issues involving her office before the state grand jury that’s been investigating allegations of wrongdoing in Rogers County the last six months.

An interim report released Tuesday by the grand jury concluded there was insufficient evidence to return probable cause indictments against the district attorney and her top assistants on nine criminal accusations contained in a petition signed by more than 7,000 county residents, including the county sheriff.  But the report also criticized Steidley for contributing to the harmful dysfunction of the county’s criminal justice system.

The grand jury reserved final comment on two other petition items:

That Steidley wrongly accused police investigator John Singer of perjury in a sex abuse case, prompting her to notify defense attorneys and judges of his alleged misconduct because of the U.S. Supreme Court’s so-called Giglio ruling. 

And that she misled U.S. Justice Department officials about the circumstances involving the termination of Eddie Griffin, an investigator in the DA’s office, in February of 2011. 

In the Singer matter, the grand jury said it heard extensive testimony surrounding Steidley’s claim the police detective lied in an interrogation report that said a 22-year-old sexual abuse suspect had confessed to digitally raping an underage teenager against her will in 2011. And that the Giglio ruling obligated the DA’s office to disclose information that could impeach Singer’s credibility as a prosecution witness in other cases.

The sex abuse charges against the defendant, Matthew Grant Sunday, were dropped by the district attorney in January of 2012, and he later pleaded guilty to furnishing alcohol to a minor.

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