Claremore Daily Progress

Inola

September 1, 2013

Grand jury petition shows chasm between law officers, DA

Complaints range from corruption to lying to mishandling sex cases

CLAREMORE —

Sheriff Scott Walton and five other citizens are collecting signatures in hopes of forcing a special grand jury to investigate the actions of a half-dozen county officials, including the district attorney.
A petition filed in court by Walton’s group this past week describes an array of complaints, most targeting District Attorney Janice Steidley and three of her assistants for incidents spanning more than two years.
The petition drive — approved  by a judge Thursday — highlights the fault lines between local law enforcement and the DA’s office. It also lobs a handful of allegations at Commission Chairman Kirt Thacker and Commissioner Mike Helm.
Steidley and others named in the petition said the claims are without merit. She called its allegations “baseless” and “pathetic” and said the petition is motivated by “political assassination.”
“My office and I have done nothing more than do our jobs, and we have been transparent in doing so,” she said.
Thacker said he invites a grand jury’s scrutiny - he pledged to sign the petition himself - to put to rest allegations that he and Helm skirted state purchasing laws. Both noted the state Bureau of Investigation has reviewed and not pursued the claims against them.
Walton and the petitioners have 42 days to get 4,487 registered voters to sign onto their petition and submit those names to the county election board for verification. If that happens, a grand jury will investigate their complaints.
Others who submitted this week’s petition are Claremore Police Det. John Singer, who is suing Steidley in federal court on grounds she sought to destroy his professional reputation; Claremore police Lt. Steve Cox; local businessmen Russell Guilfoyle and Myron Grubowski, who are frequent critics of the commissioners; and Billy D. Jones, the father of two juvenile victims.
14 claims outlined
Sponsors of the petition have outlined 14 claims they want investigated by a grand jury. Ten involve Steidley or one of three assistants - Bryce Lair, David Iski and Tim Wantland.

Text Only
Inola
  • Nude Club  construction Projected fully-nude club near Inola raises concerns

    The construction of a possible all-nude strip club, said to be located on the Mayes County line near Inola, has raised major concerns among area residents. 

    June 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Harps Food opens new store in Inola

    On April 23, Harps Food Stores will reach a new milestone in their company’s history with the opening of its 75th store. 

    April 17, 2014

  • TRAVISHALLweb.jpg 4A AREA PLAYOFFS: Stilwell eliminates Inola

    The Inola Longhorns got behind early and never could recover as Stilwell rolled to a 73-47 win in the Class 4A Area Tournament Friday afternoon at Claremore High School Gymnasium.

    March 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • 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

  • DSC_0063web.jpg ‘Night to Remember’

    Verdigris senior point guard Baileigh O’Dell may have won the points column, but Inola’s Lexi Williams and the Lady Longhorns stole the spotlight at the buzzer.
    Williams, who transferred into Inola this year from Bixby and is the daughter of Lady Longhorns’ coaches Donnie and Lori Martin, made Thursday night one to remember in Rogers County.

    February 15, 2014 2 Photos

  • Inola sweeps Claremore Sequoyah

    Claremore Sequoyah was on the brink of knocking off 13th-ranked Inola, then ran out of magic in the final minute of a 59-52 Will Rogers Conference loss Friday night at Olan Graham Field House.
    Darrek Devore drilled a three-point shot to bring the Eagles within 53-52 with 1:20 remaining, but the home team could not score again. George Longhorn missed a pair of treys for Sequoyah in the final minute and Inola converted 6-of-8 from the foul line to clinch the victory.

    February 8, 2014

  • Dewey stuns Class 4A No. 7 Longhorns

    Travis Hall’s half court heave bounced off the front of the rim at the buzzer, allowing Dewey to escape with a 48-47 upset of No. 7 Inola in Will Rogers Conference basketball Tuesday night at Inola Sports Arena.

    February 2, 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

  • Inola Chamber Inola Chamber Banquet celebrates ‘Spirit of Business and Community’

    The Inola Area Chamber of Commerce celebrated the “Spirit of Business and Community” at their annual banquet Saturday night, and it was all about Inola. 

    January 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Inola woman out on bond after being charged with lewd proposals to a minor

    An Inola woman has posted bond following charges filed against her, including lewd or indecent acts to a child under 16, indecent exposure and contributing to the delinquency of minors.

    January 21, 2014