State auditors cited two Oklahoma felony laws as criteria for a finding that the District Attorney’s Office in Rogers County deleted financial records. The audit also cites a misdemeanor provision of the Oklahoma Open Records Act, which forbids public officials from deleting public records.
A Washington County court has dismissed a lawsuit on free speech grounds under a fast-track procedure created in the 2014 Oklahoma Citizens Participation Act. The decision runs contrary to two previous OCPA decisions in other libel cases, all of which involve the same group of Rogers County defendants, sued by former District Attorney Janice Steidley. The contrary rulings set the stage for an appellate decision on the Oklahoma law intended to provide timely relief when a libel lawsuit challenges constitutionally protected advocacy.
New charges filed against a current and a former Rogers County Commissioner mirror allegations leveled in a citizens grand jury petition.
Tulsa law firms can use the Court of Criminal Appeals decision in State ex rel Pruitt v Steidley as a handy cheat sheet for rules of statutory construction, Oklahoma style. The court summarized Oklahoma case law as it applies to interpreting statutes that otherwise might lead to contrary or ambiguous conclusions.
The former Rogers County Commissioner who filed a libel suit against critics over a petition that asked a grand jury to investigate embezzlement allegations has been charged with embezzlement. A Claremore detective who circulated the petition was among those who first investigated the embezzlement allegations — two years before the citizens’ petition sought a grand jury investigation.
Janice Steidley may continue to represent Oklahoma in criminal matters but her office can no longer act as legal counsel for Rogers County. Why?
No Rogers County Officials Indicted An Oklahoma grand jury has recommended that the Oklahoma Attorney General’s office draft model policies to guide prosecutors’ handling of information that could assist criminal defendants. The recommendation was the most substantive result of a grand-jury investigation into alleged wrongdoing among Rogers County prosecutors and police. The clock ran out […]
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 […]
Wirth Law Office compiled a timeline of Rogers County controversies that include allegations of lying by police, a grand jury investigation of the DA, public officials libel lawsuits against other officials and the local newspaper, and the landslide electoral defeat of the Rogers County District Attorney.
A sheriff sneaks into your farm field in the early hours of the morning to plant a camera. Is it legal or not? The question came up in Rogers County when the office of Sheriff Scott Walton apparently placed a camera somewhere on 400 acres of farmland owned by county commissioner Kirt Thaker. Walton said […]
The money trail in a merry-go-round of lawsuits among Rogers County officials gives new meaning to the adage “What comes around, goes around.” Take a look at the Tulsa attorney representing the Rogers County District Attorney and two assistants in their libel lawsuit against the Rogers County Sheriff, a Claremore detective, the father of a […]
The day after a Tulsa judge tossed out a petition containing 6,994 signatures of Rogers County residents seeking a grand jury investigation of Rogers County officials, the district attorney and two assistants named as targets of the grand jury petition filed a libel action against petition sponsors – including the sheriff, a city detective and […]
Oklahoma is among at least six states that allow citizens to petition courts to empanel a grand jury that may investigate allegations of crimes. In Oklahoma, the citizens right is enshrined in the state constitution’s Bill of Rights. Like most rights, the right to petition for a grand jury in Oklahoma comes with some obligations. […]
Asks Sheriff to Investigate Police Chief’s Courthouse Visit Ongoing conflict among law enforcement officials and the Rogers County District Attorney just keeps getting more tangled. It’s a story fiction editors might reject as implausible or too complex – unless it were written with the flair of Shakespeare whose witch in MacBeth chants “fair is foul […]
Cue the famous clang – “cha Chung!” – from the ever-popular TV series Law & Order. During the program’s 20-year run, police and prosecutors frequently clashed over competing interests. Cops sometimes wanted to make cases at any cost. Prosecutors wanted cases that withstood legal review. The ongoing clash in Rogers County, Oklahoma between police and […]
A war of words raging among elected officials in Rogers County by way of court filings and public allegations has escalated again. This time, the Rogers County Sheriff and five others filed an unusual motion to authorize a citizens’ petition for a grand jury investigation into allegations against the Rogers County District Attorney, three assistant […]
The 2014 Rogers County District Attorney election promises to be among the more intriguing local elections we’ve seen lately. We have already seen a cop suing the DA, the DA suing a newspaper and a judge seeking election to the DA’s office fired – at a meeting reportedly called by a relative of the current […]
The idea that juveniles should be treated differently under the law predates the origins of U.S. jurisprudence. Juvenile justice has changed significantly since it was originally shaped by English common law but a significant precept of juvenile justice has long been that juveniles in the system are afforded a degree of privacy. Juvenile courts nationwide […]