State AG Asking Multicounty Grand Jury to Investigate Rogers Cou - WCIV-TV | ABC News 4 - Charleston News, Sports, Weather

State AG Asking Multicounty Grand Jury to Investigate Rogers County Officials

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The State Attorney General is stepping in to investigate allegations in Rogers County. Attorney General Scott Pruitt said it's in response to multiple allegations of wrongdoing by public officials and others in Rogers County.

His decision comes three days after Tulsa County Judge Jefferson Sellers dismissed a grand jury petition that more than six thousand people signed. Sellers ruled that the petition summary included language that had not been approved by the court.

Rogers County Petitioners including Sheriff Scott Walton, have been working since the end of August to get a grand jury to look into several allegations against other officials in the county.

But Pruitt said in a statement:

"As the chief legal officer of Oklahoma, one of my top priorities is to protect the integrity of our legal system," General Pruitt said. "For our system of justice to work properly, people must have confidence in the process. The multi county grand jury is an investigative tool, which will allow Oklahomans to bring forward any concerns they may have. In this instance, the multicounty grand jury will bring together a panel of citizens from across the state to thoroughly and objectively review the issues raised in Rogers County. I'm confident the multicounty grand jury investigation will uncover the facts, help resolve the issues in Rogers County, and restore Oklahomans confidence in the legal system."

Pruitt said the investigation will include topics in the grand jury petition that was signed by Rogers County residents as well as issues raised by District Attorney Janice Steidley. The state's multicounty grand jury is an investigative entity with authority to look into allegations of criminal activity and official misconduct by public officials. The grand jury has jurisdiction in all 77 counties. The 12 jurors are chosen from each quadrant of the state, and meet each month to hear testimony in multiple cases. The proceedings are closed to the public.

Earlier Friday, District Attorney for Rogers, Mayes, and Craig County Janice Steidley, released a statement saying she asked Thursday for a Mayes County judge to set a grand jury to look into Rogers County public officers and county departments including hers.

"There are a myriad of issues that should be looked into by a grand jury that were not listed on the earlier grand jury petition that was dismissed," Steidley said, "We decided to request this grand jury to shine light on all the parties involved and let the truth come out. Sunlight is the best disinfectant. We want a grand jury investigation that is lawful and looking into real issues, not one that is supported by baseless accusations and slander in an attempt to forward political motivations and agendas."

Since Attorney General Pruitt is now asking for a multicounty grand jury Steidley's request for Mayes County judge to set a grand jury is no longer needed and all allegations will go through Pruitt's office.

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