The state multi-county grand jury charged with investigating accusations of misconduct by Rogers County officials reconvened Tuesday for a three-day session in Oklahoma City.
Because the grand jury’s proceedings are secret, it was not known who, if anyone, testified in the months-long dispute that’s pitted the district attorney’s office and county commissioners against local law enforcement officials.
The grand jury last met in October, after Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt directed it to investigate “multiple allegations of wrongdoing by public officials and others in Rogers County.”
Pruitt’s action followed a state judge’s rejection of a citizens petition to convene a local grand jury to investigate misconduct claims against District Attorney Janice Steidley, her top assistants and Rogers County Commissioners Mike Helm and Kirt Thacker. Sponsors of the petition included Rogers County Sheriff Scott Walton and Claremore police officers John Singer and Steve Cox.
The multi-county grand jury is also reviewing complaints by Steidley and her assistants that they are targets of a political vendetta by the law officers because the district attorney’s office has held them to higher investigatory standards.
Pruitt has acknowledged that the conflict has shaken public confidence in the Rogers County justice system, and that the multi-county grand jury’s investigation will “ help resolve the issues” and restore faith in the legal system.
The multi-county grand jury is a statewide body of 12 jurors chosen every two years from across Oklahoma. It meets regularly to consider accusations of criminal activity and official misconduct in multiple cases.
There’s been no indication about when the grand jury expects to release its findings in the Rogers County matter.