UPDATE Feb. 4–Detective John Singer on Monday filed a federal lawsuit against District Attorney Janice Steidley and First Assistant District Attorney Bryce Lair. He contended their actions raising questions about his credibility and sought unspecified money damages as well as a temporary restraining order.
Steidley denied all the allegations raised by Singer and said she looked forward to addressing them in the proper forum, the courts.
Late Monday, U.S. District Judge Kent Frizzell denied Singer’s motion for a restraining order, saying, “(A)t this early stage, Singer has not provided evidence to demonstrate either irreparable harm, or that he has a substantial likelihood of prevailing on the merits” if the lawsuit goes to trial.
He noted that under federal law, a restraining order cannot be granted unless the person seeking the order can prove that they meet both those criteria plus two others, which he did not address.
ORIGINAL STORY–Feb. 1
By JOHN M. WYLIE II, Editor
Longtime Claremore Police Investigator John Singer says he is in danger of being fired due to unspecified action he took in a criminal investigation which prosecutors say must be shared with the defense in a number of other cases.
The situation is evolving, but includes an unusual motion in which Singer seeks to intervene in a different Rogers County District Court criminal case to fight the decision by the District Attorney’s office.
At issue, as described by Singer’s motion, are “certain materials related to an unrelated investigation by (Singer)” which the District Attorney’s office has concluded “constitutes impeachment evidence.”
Black’s Law Dictionary defines impeachment evidence as “evidence used to undermine a witness’s credibility.”
Singer’s motion, made in a felony case involving burglary and theft of copper allegations, says, “The dissemination of this material will cause very significant, potentially irreversible damage to (Singer’s) reputation and employment with the Claremore Police Department, In fact, (Singer) has been informed by his superiors that, if the material in question is, in fact, (impeachment evidence), his employment with the Claremore Police Department will be terminated.”
“Issues related to the employment of John Singer” was listed for an executive session of the Claremore City Council at a special meeting Thursday, Jan. 24 at the Centennial Center of Rogers State University.
The agenda allowed for action to be taken in public session, but no definitive action was taken.
The meeting was scheduled primarily for the council to hear Mayor Mickey Perry’s State of the City address and remarks by the new City Manager, Jim Thomas.
Having that kind of business on the agenda for what is essentially a ceremonial occasion is virtually unheard of.
The same language is on the council’s regular meeting agenda Monday evening, again for both executive session discussion and public meeting action.
That agenda shows the item was requested jointly by the Chief of Police, City Manager and City Attorney.
Singer’s motion to intervene in the criminal case was filed Tuesday, the same day the regular meeting agenda was posted.
Singer’s motion does not reveal what case produced the material now defined as “impeachment evidence” or what other cases are affected by that definition.
A court docket sheet shows the city of Claremore late Thursday also filed a motion to intervene in the same criminal case in which Singer is seeking to become a party.
A copy was not immediately available.
This is a developing story. Check later for further developments at Oologah.net.