Intrigue among Rogers County officials just never seems to fade away. One might think a landslide defeat in which incumbent District Attorney Janice Steidley received a meager 13 percent of votes in the Republican primary race would have dampened allegations and counter allegations. Not so.
The widely circulated allegations of 2013 sprang up around claims that a Claremore detective had misrepresented a suspects’ statements in a 2011 rape case. That detective proceeded to file a lawsuit against the District Attorney.
More recently, a former sheriff’s deputy who filed a federal lawsuit against the Rogers County Sheriff was reported by several callers over a two hour period to be acting suspiciously on a highway overpass. The former deputy alleged the sheriff’s department had made his job difficult after he refused to concur with a superior’s controversial statement about whether they had permission to search a house. He was charged with a minor offense for his conduct on the overpass.
In the mean time, the Rogers County Clerk has filed a libel lawsuit against the Claremore Daily Progress. The District Attorney had previously filed a similar lawsuit against the local newspaper. And a multicounty grand jury investigating one remaining matter involving the allegations and counter-allegations has recessed until August – pending further testimony.
That grand jury was empaneled on the orders of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt after Steidley’s attorneys persuaded a Tulsa judge to toss a citizens’ petition seeking to empanel a grand jury to investigate the same allegations. Steidely has also filed a libel suit against those – including Rogers County Sheriff Scott Walton – who filed the original citizens’ grand jury petition.
In the event this is all too much to follow, here is a time line detailing highlights of some allegations against police agencies in Rogers County and those who made the allegations. This compilation no way implies right or wrong on the part of any individual or agency involved.
The most recent allegations against a sheriff’s deputy are not particularly related to earlier allegations and this timeline does not imply any factual conclusions at all other than to provide a means of reviewing events as reported in various sources over a period of several months.
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