The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

National and world

October 3, 2013

Rogers County residents want grand jury probe

CLAREMORE, Okla. — Citizens petition for Oklahoma grand jury probe

Eds: Adds details of petition drive and allegations, background

CLAREMORE, Okla. (AP) — Sponsors of a citizens’ petition drive for a grand jury investigation of several Rogers County officials, including District Attorney Janice Steidley, have turned in 7,711 signatures to the county clerk.

Grady County Judge Richard Van Dyck, who was assigned by the Oklahoma Supreme Court to preside over the petition process, signed an order sealing the signatures after they were presented Wednesday, one week before the deadline to submit the names of 4,487 registered voters to convene the grand jury.

The petition asks a grand jury to determine if Steidley should be removed from office for alleged corruption and misconduct, the Claremore Daily Progress reported (http://bit.ly/GB5Tyo ). It also seeks an investigation into claims of malfeasance by Assistant District Attorneys David Iski, Bryce Lair and Timothy Wantland, and County Commissioners Mike Helm and Kirt Thacker.

“Once this petition was made available, the 7,000-plus petition signatures sought us out,” said Rogers County Sheriff Scott Walton, an organizer of the drive. “These people want better government in Rogers County.”

Among the other petition drive sponsors are Claremore Police Detective John Singer and Police Lt. Steve Cox.

The petition asks for a probe into, among other things, Steidley’s alleged witness tampering, alleged wiretapping of courthouse employees by Steidley and Lair, and Steidley’s alleged sending threatening text messages to a deputy sheriff.

Steidley has said the allegations against her are “baseless and pathetic” and that the petition drive is politically motivated. The other officials have also rejected the claims against them.

Court Clerk Kim Henry said the names will be turned over to the Rogers County Election Board for verification. The board has seven days to determine if the signatures meet the requirements for convening a grand jury.

If the signatures are validated, Van Dyck will order a grand jury to convene within 30 days to begin the inquiry.

1
Text Only
National and world
  • Severe Weather web.jpg Tornado slams Virginia campground; 2 dead

    A couple from New Jersey was killed when a tree fell on their tent. Their 13-year-old son, in a tent next to them, had life-threatening injuries.
    He was among three dozen people hurt.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Aviations Bad Week web.jpg Bad week for aviation: Airline disasters come in a cluster

    Industry analysts and safety experts shake their heads at the seeming randomness of the tragedies, saying they can find no common themes. Nor do they think the events indicate that flying is suddenly becoming less safe.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Obama Economic Patriotism web.jpg Obama wants limits on mergers abroad by U.S. companies

    “They’re technically renouncing their U.S. citizenship. They’re declaring they are based someplace else even though most of their operations are here,” Obama said at a technical college in Los Angeles. “You know, some people are calling these companies corporate deserters.”
    He also charged that such companies are “cherry-picking the rules.”

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Arizona Execution web.jpg As inmate died, lawyers debated if he was in pain

    Department of Corrections Director Charles Ryan read a statement Thursday outside his office dismissing the notion the execution was botched, calling it an “erroneous conclusion” and “pure conjecture.” He said IVs in the inmate’s arms were “perfectly placed” and insisted that Wood felt no pain.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Economic Recovery web.jpg U.S. economy, though sluggish, may now be sturdier

    • Inflation is under control. Runaway price increases would be destructive. Low inflation can lay a foundation for growth.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mideast web.jpg Casualty numbers raise questions about Gaza war

    A Palestinian health official put the death toll at 695 and said more than 4,100 were wounded, with civilian casualties rising sharply since Israel sent tanks and troops into Gaza last week in its first ground operation in five years.
    Israel has not offered its own count, but Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, a military spokesman, said Wednesday that 210 Gaza militants were killed since the ground operation began.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Oil Train Fires web.jpg Stopping deadly oil train fires: New rules planned

    Accident investigators have complained for decades that older tank cars, known as DOT-111s, are too easily punctured or ruptured, spilling their contents when derailed. Since 2008, there have been 10 significant derailments in the U.S. and Canada in which crude oil has spilled from ruptured tank cars, often igniting and resulting in huge fireballs. The worst was a runaway oil train that exploded in the Quebec town of Lac-Megantic a year ago, killing 47 people.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Taiwan Plane Crash web.jpg Relatives fly to Taiwan plane crash site, 48 dead

    Penghu in the Taiwan Strait between Taiwan and China late Wednesday, authorities said. The plane was on a flight from the city of Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Arizona Execution web.jpg Arizona inmate dies 2 hours after execution began

    Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne’s office said Joseph Rudolph Wood was pronounced dead at 3:49 p.m., one hour and 57 minutes after the execution started.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Flights Canceled Israel web.jpg Airlines ban flights to Israel after rocket strike

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads