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Sex scandal rocks Ottawa County District Attorney's Office

Ottawa county courthouse Miami, Okla., 4/27/22 (KTUL)
Ottawa county courthouse Miami, Okla., 4/27/22 (KTUL)
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If the cannons at the base of the flagpole had suddenly gone off, that surprise would have come in a distant second to the shockwave that rolled through the Ottawa County Courthouse from the allegations that Assistant District Attorney Daniel Giraldi traded legal help for sexual favors.

"Well, I mean, I’ll say it like everybody else, I was floored. It’s nothing I would have ever expected out of him," said District Attorney Kenny Wright.

He says he was notified last week by the U.S. Attorney in Tulsa about the investigation, and the next time Giraldi came into the office was eventful.

"So, he showed up with, not in custody, but accompanied by two FBI agents, and they were there to retrieve his telephone out of his office," he said.

Wright fired him and then called the State Attorney General's office to have an outside prosecutor assigned.

"So, Ballard’s office will be handling the state side of things in conjunction with, coordinated with federal authorities," he said.

The massive shock surrounding the allegations also comes with a can of worms in the form of former defendants potentially crying foul that the assistant DA who prosecuted them is allegedly corrupt.

"There’s a pretty good limitation to what he could have done, if anything, without myself or the first assistant knowing.... but it is something that we definitely have an eye on. It's a great concern to me, and certainly, if he did do anything inappropriate, we’ll take all steps possible to remedy those situations," said Wright.

As for the public's trust in his office, Wright says his 27 years as either a DA, assistant DA, or public defender speak for themselves.

"I’m really confident that my record stands on its own," he said.

Shock in the halls of justice, and the dizzying effect when things suddenly get turned upside down.

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"People are very difficult to predict, and sometimes, it's the people you think you know best that can surprise you, and that can be good and bad both directions," said Wright.


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