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
  • House Obama Lawsuit.jpg Republican-led House approves lawsuit against President Obama

    Just a day before lawmakers were to begin a five-week summer recess, debate over the proposed lawsuit underscored the harshly partisan tone that has dominated the current Congress almost from its start in January 2013.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Russia Putin web.jpg Sanctions could damage Russia

    The sanctions go further than earlier penalties — which had largely targeted individuals — by broadly limiting the trade of weapons and of technology that can be used in the oil and military industries. The EU also put its capital markets off-limits to Russian state-owned banks.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mideast Libya web.jpg Thousands flee to Tunisia to escape Libya fighting

    Many diplomats, including the U.S. ambassador, have pulled out of the country. With the interim government paralyzed, the fighting threatens the planned opening session of the newly elected parliament on Aug. 4.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Obit Robert Drew web.jpg Cinema verite documentarian Robert Drew dies

    Starting in 1960 with “Primary,” Drew produced and sometimes directed a series of television documentaries that took advantage of such innovations as light hand-held cameras that recorded sound and pictures.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Obama Ukraine Russia_Hass_W.jpg GOP-led House approves lawsuit against Obama

    The suit will contend that Obama has exceeded his constitutional powers in the way he has enforced the 2010 health care law.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Texas: Gay-marriage ban best for children

    Texas’ ban on same-sex marriage allows the state to promote the birth and upbringing of children in “stable, lasting relationships,” the state’s attorney general argued Tuesday while asking a federal appeals court to reinstate the ban.

    July 30, 2014 1 Story

  • OKCupid, Facebook not alone in studying consumers

    Dating is hard.

    July 29, 2014

  • Abortion-Mississippi_Hass.jpg U.S. appeals court blocks Mississippi abortion law

    The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals voted 2-1 to overturn Mississippi’s 2012 law requiring abortion doctors to obtain admitting privileges at nearby hospitals.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • U.S. Court: Virginia marriage is for all lovers

    “We recognize that same-sex marriage makes some people deeply uncomfortable. However, inertia and apprehension are not legitimate bases for denying same-sex couples due process and equal protection of the laws,” Judge Henry F. Floyd wrote.

    July 28, 2014

  • Sierra Leone West Af_Brac-1.jpg New fears about Ebola spread after plane scare

    Patrick Sawyer’s death on Friday has led to tighter screening of airline passengers in West Africa, where an unprecedented outbreak that emerged in March has killed more than 670 people in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story

Featured Ads