Rogers County DA Steidley Amends Lawsuit Against Sheriff, Claremore Cops

Tuesday, November 5th 2013, 11:41 pm
By: News On 6

A Green Country district attorney filed an amended lawsuit against Rogers County Sheriff Scott Walton and a Claremore Police investigator, among others, giving a more detailed account of her allegations against them.

The 14-page libel lawsuit is an effort to clear the names of Rogers County District Attorney Janice Steidley and two of her assistants, David Iski and Bryce Lair.

10/16/2013 Related Story: Rogers County DA Suing Sheriff, Others For Libel, Defamation

It was filed after a petition for a grand jury investigation into Steidley's office was dismissed in Tulsa County court. The grand jury petition accused Steidley of a number of crimes, including witness tampering, illegal wiretapping, criminal threats and destruction of government records. The petition drive was organized by Sheriff Walton, Claremore Police investigators John Singer and Steve Cox, and several other citizens.

When the petition was thrown out, because a judge said those who signed it were given a summary of the petition instead of the language approved by the court, the Oklahoma Multicounty Grand Jury stepped in, announcing it would investigate the claims made by both sides. That is still to come.

10/18/2013 Related Story: State's Multicounty Grand Jury Will Investigate Rogers County Officials

Meanwhile, Steidley claims that, by organizing that petition drive, Walton, Singer, Cox, Russell Guilfoyle, Billy D. Jones, Myron Grubowski, and 25 other unnamed people, "colluded and conspired" to "endanger the freedom and liberty" of her and her assistants, and set out to "publicly smear and defame" them.

Most of the points listed in the new amended lawsuit have to do with the actual filing of the grand jury petition and its perceived implications for the district attorney's office, saying in one point that it was "motivated by personal animus."

The suit also claims Walton's participation was meant to intimidate the DA's Office, because Steidley was actively trying to stop Walton from talking to the media about pending cases.

But in one point, the lawsuit claims, before the grand jury petition was filed, Singer and Cox secretly and illegally recorded Assistant District Attorney Kathy Lahmeyer, to gain information about the DA's Office.

In another point, the suit alleges the defendants purposely used the summary and circulated folders of the court approved grand jury petition in order to mislead the nearly 8,000 people who signed it. Then, the lawsuit claims, Singer destroyed all but one of the folders, which allegedly contained the grand jury petition approved by the court.

Singer is also accused of giving false testimony in the hearing where the petition was thrown out.

Read the 14-page amended lawsuit

Read the summary circulated with the grand jury petition

Read the grand jury petition approved by the court