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Steidley, Lair win another round in court against Claremore cop

[ 4 ] February 13, 2014 |

Claremore cop John Singer lost another round in court in his lawsuit against DA Janice Steidley.

Judge vindicates them on officer’s credibility; dumps his evidence manufacturing claim

By JOHN M. WYLIE II, Editor
NEWS ANALYSIS

The presiding federal judge in Tulsa has thrown out all but one issue in Claremore Police Officer John Singer’s lawsuit against Rogers County District Attorney Janice Steidley.

 In a 31-page order, U.S. Chief District Judge Gregory Frizzell threw out Singer’s allegations of  libel, slander and defamation against Steidley and her then-First Assistant DA, Bryce Lair.

 The case centers on affidavits Singer filed with a judge in Rogers County District Court seeking search and arrest warrants in a rape investigation.

 Steidley’s office later reviewed the case and determined that certain sworn statements Singer made in the affidavits could not be substantiated by the interview with the defendant on which they were based. The interview had been taped.

 Her office determined that the situation required a so-called Giglio notification to attorneys in other cases where Singer was to testify. Judge Frizzell noted in his ruling that under the Supreme Court Giglio decision, prosecutors must disclose during pretrial discovery evidence which in the eyes of a neutral and objective observer, could alter the outcome of the proceedings.

The court ruled that the statement in question made by Singer in the two affidavits “was not accurate” and that Steidley and Lair “cannot be said to have made a false statement when they opined that the Giglio information had to be disclosed.”

Judge Frizzell also noted that Singer was subject to another Giglio disclosure in federal court involving his “dishonesty and cover-up concerning an accident involving a police vehicle should be disclosed to criminal defense attorneys.” Singer hit another police car but instead told his supervisor he had hit a deer and “to promote his story, Singer placed deer hair in the grill of his vehicle.”

 He also ruled that evidence presented to the court does “not support Singer’s claim that [Steidley and Lair] ‘manufactured’ any evidence.”

Under those circumstances, the judge said, there was no basis to let the libel, slander or defamation claims move forward.

The only remaining claim involves a highly technical legal issue surrounding disputed facts still yet at issue.

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Comments (4)

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  1. Paula Abney says:

    How much did Janice Steidley pay for this article?

    • Leader says:

      Nothing. The Wylies have not done freelance work for the DA’s office for several months.

    • Brian H says:

      Why do people keep throwing that out there? “How much did Janice pay” look people theres a difference between a news story and a fluff piece. This article is not based on opinion or feelings but FACTS… it quotes court documents and affidavits, I realize that daily readers of another local paper may have a difficult time recognizing a news story but since this began Ive been impressed with the Lake Leaders coverage of this. Yes, Mr Wylie has made his personal feelings on the matter known, however that was done on the page titled “OPINION” or editorial, in the actual articles he has been meticulous in documenting references, sources etc, also if you look back to the first editorial he did regarding this matter he commented that grand juries have a habit of turning on the people that called them, thats exactly whats happening here, I imagine John Singer will be one of the first indictments from the multi county grand jury. I mean really… a grown man that glues deer hair to his car to fake an accident has no room calling anyone a liar, and even less room carrying a badge and gun imo

      • Melinda Wantland says:

        You forgot to mention Mr. Singer’s lies about an alleged confession, which is now no longer in dispute but a fact, according to the Federal Judge and one Assistant Attorney General. I agree Mr. H. and think the rookie reporter from the other paper could learn a great deal from Mr. Wylie’s professionalism and experience.