Rogers County’s old Courthouse is chained shut after officials say a Claremore Progress reporter breached security last week and took still and video footage inside the closed building without authorization.
Rogers County commissioners expressed outrage Monday and Chairman Kirt Thacker said that he had ordered the doors on the old courthouse building chained and padlocked.
On Sunday, the Claremore Progress published a story by Salesha Wilken about legal records dumped in the hallway of the old building. It included a photograph of paperwork on the floor.
The story did not report that Wilken had been inside the building, but several officials said Monday she had been found there last Wednesday by the commissioners’ administrative assistant.
After that, Thacker ordered the chains and padlocks, ensuring that even elected officials could not get inside the building without specific authorization from the board or chairman.
As temperatures rose, the controversy showed no signs of cooling off: commissioners were livid and unofficial reports about an investigation abounded although officials would not discuss it.
Thacker noted one bright spot in the ongoing feud with the Progress: “Thankfully, not that many people read it.”
Progress publisher Bailey Dabney said he would not comment at this time.
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