Claremore Daily Progress

Oologah/Talala

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
Oologah/Talala
  • 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

  • Oologah splits in 4A sub-regional playoffs

    The Oologah Mustangs had a split in the Class 4A sub-regional basketball playoffs Thursday night at Bill Allen Field House.
    The No. 16 Oologah boys beat Tulsa Webster 67-61.  The Lady Mustangs, however, fell 48-44 against the No. 16 Berryhill Maidens.

    March 2, 2014

  • One injured in rollover crash near Oologah

    A pickup truck driver suffered minor injuries Monday morning after losing control of the vehicle near Highway 169 south of Oologah, according to Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

    February 24, 2014

  • Oologah’s DeSpain scores 40 in road win over Hilldale

    Hilldale’s Hillary Calvert did anything she wanted Friday night against Oologah, on her way to a game-high 21 points, five steals and five rebounds, leading the Lady Hornets past the Lady Mustangs 61-27 at the Hilldale Event Center.

    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

  • Election-artweb.jpg Northwest Fire District, Catoosa and Tulsa voters go to the polls today

    Voters in parts of Rogers County go to the polls today to decide school bonds and a bond to expand the Northwest Fire District. For results of the election click here Election Results 2013.

    November 12, 2013 1 Photo

  • 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

  • Poachers strike Oologah

    Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Game Warden Lt. Brek Henry is searching for answers after five whitetail bucks were found decapitated this weekend near Oologah Lake.

    November 12, 2013

  • 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

  • Fees set for agencies joining E911 dispatch

    The E911 Trust Authority voted Thursday to set fees for agencies looking to join the countywide dispatch center.

    November 7, 2013

Poll

Severe storm season is beginning. Do you have a storm readiness plan at home?

Yes
No
     View Results
Featured Ads
AP Video