Claremore Daily Progress

Chelsea

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
Chelsea
  • Kenneth Wayne DeLozier, Sr.

    A celebration of the life of Kenneth Wayne DeLozier, Sr., will be 10 a.m., Wed., April 16, 2014 at First Baptist Church in Chelsea. Burial, with military honors, will follow at Chelsea Cemetery under the direction of Rice Funeral Service. Visitation will be Monday from 1-5 p.m. at the funeral home.

    April 12, 2014

  • Dog cage Unusual child abuse case linked to sexual abuse

    A 31-year-old Chelsea man was arrested after allegedly locking a 5-year-old boy in a dog cage and allegedly sexually abusing a 14-year-old girl.

    March 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Edwin “Ed” Cypert Oelenberger

    Edwin “Ed” Cypert  Oelenberger, 86, of Chelsea, died Wednesday, March 5, 2014 at the home.

    March 8, 2014

  • Winter March 2014 Winter’s last gasp?

    A powerful winter storm brought sleet and snow to Rogers County Sunday, leaving roads in hazardous condition and all schools were closed on Monday.

    March 4, 2014 1 Photo

  • Chelsea HS Academic Team Chelsea HS Academic Team earns second consecutive state title

    Chelsea High School made school history after winning the Class 3A OSSAA Academic Bowl state championship Feb. 15 at Redlands Community College in El Reno.

    February 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Chelsea approves renewal of PSO agreement

    The Rogers County Election Board announced Tuesday the  results from the annual school board election involving Northeast Technology Center, Catoosa Public Schools and Chelsea Public Schools, as well as, special election results for the Town of Chelsea.

    February 13, 2014

  • Burn ban issued in Rogers County

    A burn ban was issued Monday for Rogers County by county commisioners due to high winds and drought conditions.

    January 27, 2014

  • 20131111_7625web.jpg Honoring Those Who Served

    Rogers County residents saluted area veterans Monday during the annual Claremore Veterans Day Parade.

    November 12, 2013 8 Photos

  • Toys4Totsweb.jpg Toys for Tots kicks off campaign

    The holidays are a a time for celebration, but many Rogers County and Claremore children are less fortunate. The joy of a gift can bring happiness into a difficult situation for these children.

    November 12, 2013 1 Photo

  • A-F grades released by state

    The Oklahoma Board of Education unanimously voted to certify the A-F report cards for schools statewide at a special meeting Wednesday afternoon in Oklahoma City.

    November 6, 2013