Area Officers Request OSBI Assistance in Investigation of District Attorney
Authorities from three different counties held a joint conference Wednesday morning as a criminal investigation into a district attorney's office continues.Representatives with the Rogers, Mayes and Craig County Sheriff Offices gathered at the Claremore Police Department. All three offices are calling for the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation to look into alleged criminal activities at District Attorney Janice Steidley's office.In total, nine different law enforcement agency were on hand to bring light to their issues."We have seen a lot less felony charges being charged dispositions we get back are like lack of prosecution merit decline to prosecute with no reasons what so ever," Catoosa Chief of Police Kevin McKim said. "I believe the officers do a great job but if we are doing something wrong what is it and let us know what it is."According to previous reports from KTUL, members of the communities brought forward claims of "abuse of power." Among those include tampering with witnesses and wiretapping phones in the courthouse. Those allegations are why these law enforcement agencies are looking for answers."We need an objective option and need an objective agency to come in here and review and follow up and vet out these allegations of criminal conduct of corruptions, malfeasance, whatever term you want to attach to them, until they are vetted out and present with objective findings from that agency," Claremore Chief of Police Stan Brown said.Wednesday afternoon, District Attorney Janice Steidley, along with her attorney, Clark Brewster, said she is just doing her job."We have had other issues with law enforcement agencies, where I have to hold them accountable for actions and I don't know if that is something new that they have had to deal with since I have taken office, but that is something that they will have to deal with while I am in office," Steidley said.Steidley said she will work with any agency that wants to investigate her and will be completely transparent, but believes all of this came to light after she questioned Claremore Police Officer John Singer."I have not caused this. Once we determined that we needed to turn over this evidence, we are the ones that sought the protective order to have this given to another defense attorney. So, he can review it under a protective order, we are not the ones that brought this to light," Steidley said.Brown says that the Attorney General's office nor any other Oklahoma District Attorney will purse charges against Singer for perjury. Brown said his officers will continue to do their jobs but it's hard to ask them to go to court."It's hard to assure them that they will be treating fairly from the district attorney's office," Brown said.Rogers County Sheriff Scott Walton said in his 33 years in law enforcement he has never seen a relationship like this one and it's beyond repair. He said it's a system that is badly broken but if these allegations do come back false after an investigation he is ready to get to work."We are ready to shut up, sit down, and go back to work if these prove to be not valid complaints," Walton said.Fraternal Order of Police organizations from Claremore, Mayes County and Pryor say they've taken a "no confidence" vote concerning Steidley.Another Rogers County group is currently gathering signatures on a petition requesting a grand jury investigation of Steidley.