Editor’s note: This is the second story in a three-part series by The Frontier. Read Part One: The Mark


Diana Thurman recorded phone calls of her involvement in a plan to embarrass Rogers County Sheriff Scott Walton. Just who organized that plan is disputed. SHANE BEVEL/For The Frontier

She pulled into the parking lot of the Olive Garden, feeling like a character in a spy movie.

Diana Thurman went to the Owasso restaurant to meet Misty Douglas, an employee of the Rogers County district attorney’s office, who had warned there were serious problems with police in and around the county.

Some people weren’t getting fair treatment, including Diana’s son.

According to Thurman, Douglas suggested: If you can help us, we might be able to help your son.

So on May 20, 2014 — the same day an interim report from a grand jury investigation was released and a bomb blew up the mailbox of District Attorney Janice Steidley — Thurman found herself sitting in the Claremore law offices of Larry Steidley, Janice’s husband.

Former Rogers County District Attorney Janice Steidley, who had contentious relations with law enforcement, was ousted after one term. Photo courtesy of NewsOn6

Former Rogers County District Attorney Janice Steidley, who had contentious relations with law enforcement, was ousted after one term. Photo courtesy of NewsOn6

Thurman had no idea of the political battles being waged in the background. She didn’t even technically live in Rogers County.

Twenty years for your son’s case is ridiculous, Thurman said Larry Steidley told her. The district attorney needs to look at this.

“At the time, I thought these people were going to help me,” Thurman said.

The Rogers County Sheriff’s Office and Claremore Police Department are corrupt, they reportedly told her.

People are after us, Thurman recalled Douglas telling her. Janice has just tried to do the right thing for so long.

Beating a dead dog
In summer 2012, in a tiny town called Winganon on the east shore of Oologah Lake, Jetta the Labrador retriever was found dead, wrapped in wire and dragged behind a pickup truck.

Sheriff Scott Walton was talking tough.

“There is nothing really to justify killing a dog. I think there is a special place in hell for anyone who abuses an animal like that. You’re going to be in deep trouble, and I’m pressing charges to the max,” Walton said of those responsible.

Walton publicly warned the dog’s killer: You will be brought to justice. Under Oklahoma’s animal cruelty statutes, that could mean five years in prison and steep fines.

Police said Jetta, a family pet, was found dead after her body was dragged behind the back of a truck, her legs bound with wire. She was the mother of nine puppies.

Legendary University of Oklahoma Football coach Barry Switzer was so outraged by the dog’s death that he ponied up a $10,000 reward for information leading to the animal abuser’s arrest.

But after about a month, a man came forward with a different story: He had found the injured lab on his property after she’d been hit by a car. He’d shot her to end her suffering, but then the dog started to smell, so he tried to move it. He’d tied her up with wire and dragged her dead body because he didn’t want to touch the dog’s carcass, he told investigators.

Walton then publicly backpedaled: “The timeframe and the evidence and witness statements that we have does not enable us to make an arrest at this time.

Rogers County Sheriff Scott Walton was elected in 2008. Photo courtesy NewsOn6

Rogers County Sheriff Scott Walton was elected in 2008.
Photo courtesy NewsOn6

“I do believe there is a different explanation and I’m not saying we’re at all explaining how animal cruelty is right. I am not saying that at all. I am not saying that in any shape or form. I’m just saying that the explanation that would show somewhat different than that.”

But just a few days later, Janice Steidley issued a statement that based on “new information” brought to her attention, she had asked the Rogers County Sheriff’s Office to reopen the case. The DA’s office had “heard the cries for justice loud and clear and [was] doing everything possible to answer them.”

They asked any “witnesses who actually saw any kind of interaction between Jetta and a person or persons” to come forward.

“We love animals and are working tirelessly to resolve this case. The fact that we are receiving and processing leads at night speaks volumes about the level of our commitment,” Steidley’s statement read.

So they dug up Jetta’s dead body and sent her to the Oklahoma State University veterinary medicine school for a necropsy. About two months later, a Chelsea man pleaded guilty to improper disposal of an animal carcass.

The mystery of Jetta’s death had been solved, but the working relationship between Walton and Steidley never recovered.

12/11/15 2:54:38 PM -- Rogers County Shuffle. Photo by Shane Bevel

The Rogers County Courthouse in Claremore. SHANE BEVEL/For The Frontier

The Sunday case
When the state’s multicounty grand jury spent more than six months from 2013 to 2014 investigating allegations of wrongdoing in Rogers County, one of the things it was asked to consider was whether Janice Steidley, her assistant and others conspired to falsely report a crime.

The allegations amounted to this: Was Claremore Police Detective John Singer targeted for an investigation in 2013 because the district attorney discovered Singer’s then-wife planned to run against her?

As retaliation, had Steidley manufactured allegations of perjury against Singer regarding an 18-month old rape investigation?

According to a citizens’ petition, Steidley and her allies had attempted to draw the U.S. attorney and Oklahoma attorney general into the feud.

Steidley maintained she was doing her duty under the law, and a close-knit band of law enforcement fought back by shifting the focus of the investigation to her.

On July 23, 2011, Detective John Singer arrested Matthew Grant Sunday on a complaint of rape by instrumentation, transmitting obscene materials and providing alcohol to minors.

Matthew Grant Sunday received a five-year deferred sentence in 2012 for furnishing alcohol to a minor.

Matthew Grant Sunday received a five-year deferred sentence in 2012 for furnishing alcohol to a minor.

Records show Sunday, 22, was accused by police of “sexting,”— chatting sexytalk and sending pictures of his penis to a 16-year-old girl. She and a 15-year-old friend came to his house the day before his arrest, and hung out after his wife had left, records show. They drank Bacardi and Tom Collins cocktails and police said Sunday groped the drunk 16-year-old.

Later, the teen girl told her father about the sexual contact. Her father was an Oklahoma Highway Patrol officer, who promptly reported the crime.

Though Sunday was originally charged with rape by instrumentation along with the other crimes, Steidley became critical of discrepancies between Singer’s videotaped interrogation and his written affidavit of the interview filed in court records.

This is crux of the dispute: Singer’s affidavit stated that Sunday told him that he “put his finger into the 16-year-old girl’s vagina against her will.”

The actual transcript of Sunday’s interrogation is a bit more vague: Singer asks several questions about consent, and whether Sunday’s answers constitute a true confession may be open to interpretation.

According to a transcript of the interview, Singer asked Sunday:

“Did you get the impression that (the girl) wanted your finger in her vagina?”

Sunday: “She didn’t ask for it, but… (unintelligible).”

Singer: “You reached down and put your hand in her panties and put your finger in her vagina?”

Sunday: “Yes.”

Singer: “She isn’t cool with that. She’s not cool with that now. What about then?”

Sunday: “I wasn’t aware she said stop. (Unintelligible) I didn’t hear her.”

Singer: But (unintelligible) made it sound like it was after — as she was walking away, like it pissed her off. Is that possible?”

Sunday: “Yeah, that’s possible…”

Sunday did not deny the sexual contact with the teen during this interrogation. The grand jury report also included this exchange:

Singer: You – you didn’t have the right to put your hand in her panties, did you?

Sunday: No, I didn’t.

The affidavit didn’t match the videotape word-for-word, however, and the partner of the highway patrol officer whose daughter was involved was allowed to be in the room during Sunday’s interrogation.

So Steidley dropped the rape charges, and Sunday pleaded guilty to two charges of providing alcohol to a minor in July 2012. He received a deferred five-year sentence and in 2013, filed to have his record expunged.

Steidley raised the question of whether Singer’s actions in the Sunday case would have to be disclosed under Giglio rules for any future cases. Giglio is a court term based on the right of juries to be fully informed about certain aspects of a case, including any information disputing the truthfulness of witnesses presented by the government.

Steidley’s actions meant that in any criminal case in which Singer testified, the defendants might be handed a packet of information detailing what she alleged were his unethical actions in the Sunday case. This decision could have effectively handicapped Singer from investigating any major case: Who wants a cop to testify when the district attorney hands the defense a packet calling the detective a known liar?

Singer wasn’t just going to take it: He sued in 2013, alleging Steidley’s actions were defamatory and violated his civil rights. The lawsuit ended up in federal court and county officials eventually settled with Singer for an undisclosed sum.

The multi-county grand jury found that “at a bare minimum,” Singer should have taken “much greater care” to use precise language in the probable cause affidavit he prepared in the Sunday case. They declined to label his actions perjury, however.

Around the same time the grand jury petition was filed in 2013, Rex Duncan, the district attorney originally assigned to review Singer’s actions, wrote a letter questioning how state officials handled the investigation.

Prior to becoming DA over Osage and Pawnee counties, Duncan was best known in Oklahoma as the advocate of a statewide ban on Shariah law that was later overturned by the courts.

Duncan’s letter stated that before the OSBI took over the Sunday investigation, he had been prepared to file perjury charges against Singer.

Singer was never charged with perjury. He remains a detective at the Claremore Police Department, and declined to comment for this story.

But Steidley’s supporters point out that in 2010, Singer had been documented lying. In a separate case in Oklahoma’s northern district of federal court, Singer admitted under cross-examination he had not told the truth about crashing his car while working for the Tulsa Police Department.

He was already on probation there for one car crash when he backed his patrol car into another vehicle. He was afraid of getting fired, so he borrowed some deer hair from a friend and placed it in the grill of his patrol car. He reportedly claimed he’d hit a deer.

He didn’t admit the error until years later, under oath.

Singer’s supporters question the suspicious timing of Steidley’s quest to lob Giglio allegations at the detective.

On Jan. 6, 2013, the Claremore newspaper ran an article examining the district attorney’s handling of a 2011 drug bust (now the subject of an ongoing libel lawsuit). Two days after the article ran, the grand jury report notes, Steidley told the Claremore police chief that Singer’s statements in the Sunday case would be disclosed as Giglio information in any future cases in which he testified.

The grand jury’s report notes that the tension between Singer and Janice Steidley existed prior to that newspaper article, however. Specifically, the report notes, they seemed to worsen in late 2012, when Singer’s then-wife (they’ve since split) made it known she was considering challenging Steidley’s District 12 seat.

Steidley maintained the Singer investigation was never personal, just her duty under the law.

After the grand jury reviewed the evidence, it issued a report stating that the lack of a clear policy at least “creates an appearance that the manner in which (Singer’s) Giglio determination was handled was politically motivated.”

An offer she couldn’t refuse
After the May 20, 2014, meeting, Diana Thurman said she began to understand just how bad the blood was between Walton, police and the Steidleys.

She said she was given an offer she now wishes she’d refused: Help us, and maybe your son can avoid prison time for his drunken driving charges.

12/11/15 2:40:46 PM -- Rogers County Shuffle. Photo by Shane Bevel

Doors inside the Rogers County Courthouse. SHANE BEVEL/For The Frontier

Diana Thurman said her claims are supported by audio-recorded, date-stamped phone conversations and text messages, shared with The Frontier. Her recorded conversations are primarily with Larry Steidley. The former district attorney’s voice is not heard on any of the recordings reviewed by The Frontier.

The Steidleys dispute Thurman’s version of events.

But at least one conversation recorded May 29, 2014, features Janice Steidley’s employee, Misty Douglas, acknowledging her boss was reviewing the details of Thurman’s son’s case, which was handled by an assistant prosecutor at that time.

On the recording, Douglas also confirms her previous meetings with Diana, amid the political chaos in Rogers County.

Diana Thurman: “I didn’t know if you had a chance to talk to Janice about if she had even looked at it or if she…”

Misty Douglas: “Everything has been so crazy this last week. I mean, you and me talked and then we met with Larry and everything kind of broke loose, so um, it’s just been and (unintelligible) all over the place right now.”

Douglas did not respond to interview requests.

Numerous other recordings and interviews support Diana Thurman’s claims, which later in 2014, were examined by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation and eventually, the Oklahoma attorney general’s office, sources confirmed to The Frontier.

An OSBI spokeswoman told The Frontier the bureau began investigating allegations of bribery and corruption in Rogers County in September 2014. The investigation was completed and findings were sent to the attorney general’s office in August 2015.

No criminal charges have been filed against Janice or Larry Steidley.

Diana Thurman said she was asked to flirt, attract and get caught with Walton, a married man, in order to cause a scandal.

She alleges she was promised leniency for her son if she would do what she was asked to harm a political enemy.

Thurman did not record most of these in-person negotiations or conversations because she was frequently checked for a wire, she said. The Frontier reviewed and transcribed the recordings she provided.

In Thurman’s clearly recorded conversations with Larry Steidley, he discusses with Thurman several “plans” designed to catch Walton in compromising positions. He refers to Thurman’s son’s legal case as “a separate deal” on several occasions.

When Larry Steidley first reviewed her son’s case file at his office, he appeared outraged, according to Diana Thurman.

“I can’t believe they’re doing this to your son,” she recalled him saying.

The district attorney arrived sometime later at the office and discussed Thurman’s son’s case, according to Diana Thurman.

They wanted to know how much it would cost to bond her son out of jail.

Larry appeared upset and offered to head to the jail to pay Justin’s $50,000 bond and free him, Diana Thurman said. But no one can know we’re working together.

Janice Steidley declined to be interviewed for this story, but Larry Steidley said his wife has never met or spoken to Thurman.

Diana Thurman said she was asked how far she was willing to go, and she said she made it clear: She would do anything to get her son intensive treatment for his alcoholism and avoid prison. He had almost died in a 2013 car crash, and she didn’t want to lose him.

The following day, Diana Thurman said she met again with Larry Steidley and some associates at a picnic pavilion at Claremore Lake. (Steidley disputes her account). 

We need to take down the sheriff, Thurman said she was told.

She said she was offered a plan: Can you bleach your hair blonder? Do you own any provocative clothes?

Maybe a skinny, curvaceous blonde like you could get Walton’s attention. Can you meet him, flirt a little? Go out drinking. Take some pictures.

Thurman said she agreed to along out of fear, curiosity and desperation.

“I played the part of the weak, pathetic, no-college-education small-town girl,” she admitted.

Elfin, blonde and usually decked out in rhinestone-speckled, Western-trendy clothes, Diana fluctuates between kitten-voiced concerned mom and hardened country girl ready to put a boot in someone’s ass.

But the intensity of the hatred and thinly veiled threats between Larry Steidley and his perceived enemies concerned Diana Thurman enough that she decided she would start recording her phone conversations with him, whenever possible.

In her head, Thurman said, she realized she knew she was “batshit crazy” for playing along.

But she rationalized it: “I gotta keep them on the hook to see what they can do for my son.”

May 23, 2014 recording: (Diana is leaving Larry a voicemail when he returns her call)

Diana: Um, I just wanted to know — first of all, tomorrow evening, will our friend be in uniform or plain clothes, or do you know?
Larry: This evening?
Diana: No, tomorrow evening.
Larry: I would guess in uniform or at least a T-shirt-like uniform. Why?
Diana: Well, because I just thought that would make a difference whether he was, you know, having any alcoholic beverages or he was trying to be on the straight and narrow.
Larry: Yeah, I’ve been told that, you know, up until all this happened and out of all that’s happened since, that he uh, used to carry beer around on the back of his county-owned truck and (redacted), I mean. So I, I don’t think the son of a bitch has any shame, but we’ll see.
Diana: OK, well.
Larry: I’ve got him, I’ve got him, I’ve got a crew on his ass tonight, so…
Diana: OK. Well, if I can get anything done, you know I will.
Larry: Yeah, just, I mean, don’t go too far out of your way… just kinda see how it goes.


Larry: …Especially if something good happens, you call me

Diana: Well, yeah, if there’s something fantastic I’ll be calling you immediately, um, and I still wanted to set up a, a time to meet in person because you told me you had made a couple of calls on Justin’s behalf but you couldn’t get into it over the phone, so. Just whenever you’re ready to meet, let me know.

Larry: There’s nothing dynamic yet, and and you know, just point blank I told Janice a little bit about the situation, not much, I just said “you need to look at this,” and she said, “Well, I will,” and she said you know I’ll look at any situation anybody asks me to. I said I know you will, but it’s kind of quirky cause we’re trying to, her son’s got a case but yet we’re trying to work on this case with Walton so we just may need to make sure that we don’t exceed any ethical bounds. And she understands, and you understand. I mean, I told her I hadn’t guaranteed you anything with respect to your son and that really wasn’t what our work with respect to Walton had anything to do about…”

Though Larry Steidley appears to be careful at times during the recorded conversations to avoid an overt link between Diana Thurman’s assistance and his offer to help her son, Diana Thurman said the arrangement was clearly understood.

So on May 24, 2014, Diana Thurman was dolled up and ready to go at the Will Rogers Stampede Rodeo.

She acquired a device to record conversations from a private investigator she knew. She led Larry to believe her investigator friend would be following her at the rodeo.

She had no trouble finding Walton, a well-known public figure who helped sponsor that year’s rodeo.

She cringes when she talks about corny things she did to get his attention. She dropped keys and bent over, she told him she was a fan on his official Facebook page.

He obliged, chatted and took a cell phone picture with her.

Walton confirmed the details of meeting Thurman at the rodeo on that date, but insisted he was simply being a friendly sheriff to all constituents he met that night. He declined to comment further for this story.

Diana Thurman said the sheriff agreed to meet some other time for a drink at a popular local bar. She texted Larry Steidley the picture of her with Walton and called Larry as she left the rodeo that night.

Diana: I thought you would enjoy that picture
Larry: Well, has he got his snoot full or what?
Diana:  Oh yes, and we even uh, had one together. Very talkative … and we have a date! And he’s married…. and I didn’t know that.
L:  Oh yeah he’s married.
D: Well, I didn’t know.
L:  What uh, he’s out at Port City?
D: No, he’s at the rodeo in Claremore.  
L:  Oh is he?
D:  Oh yes, him and all his hoots, him and all his buds
L:  So he’s there right now?
D:  Uh-huh
L:  Are you leaving there? Or what are you, uh..
D:  Yeah, I’m leaving them, and I got, you know … I could only do so much without it being really obvious, so, anyway, I wasn’t even sure if he was there when I got there. I had to pay $14 damn dollars to get in the place, and then …first person I saw was him. And I kinda slowed down, he was talking to another man in glasses that had a button on, but I couldn’t read what the button was, and they were talking about Janice. I got close enough and I kinda was acting like I was looking around for somebody and I kept hearing ‘well, you know, Steidley this, we gotta get Steidley out of here, and it’s our biggest problem’ and I didn’t want to move closer and closer I just kind of acted like I was lost, you know.
L: Did he ever allege that she committed any crimes that you heard?
D:  He never said anything like that
L: So… but he’s still there?  
D:  He was when I left, and I just left right when I called your cell phone the first time.
L: All right well let me call, I got some other people out there…
D: Well, they will probably tell you that this blonde woman was stalking him.
L:  OK
D: And then he even had me go off with him in a private area where I did not have a pass so that we could talk, and I ask him if could get a picture of us together.  So.
L:  Well are you, were you wired up or anything?
D:  I had somebody watching me, and, um, you know, I didn’t know what direction it was going to go so I wanted to be real careful about suspicion, but you know, on an initial meeting of someone they’re not just gonna start blabbing you their whole life story so…
L: Right. When is your next encounter supposed to happen?
D:  Well, He wanted to know if I would be willing to go with him and have a drink tonight..
L: Right.
D:  Well you know, I was supposed to meet some friends out here and I can’t find them and they might have stood me up.  
L: Where’d he want to go?
D: He didn’t say, he just said have a drink. And I said well, you know, I told him what I just told you, and I said how about next weekend? And he said that sounds good and I, he said can I get your number and I said well can I get yours? And he kinda grinned that goofy ass grin, you know…He said well you can call me anytime at my office.
And I said well, I’d rather, If you’re, I said if you’re a married man I would rather not be doing that. So I gave him the number of a trash cell. So, he can call me on it, I did not give him my name, I didn’t give him my real name.  
L: Do you have um, do you have a backer in that, is it PI or is it amateur?
D:  He’s a PI .
L:  Well, I’m not an expert at this game, but I wonder, I mean… If you went back in and said, ‘Well where do you want to have a drink at and I’ll show up there’… what would that do?

Diana didn’t think it wise to return to the rodeo that night, but the plans didn’t end there. Three days later, she was on the phone again with Larry Steidley, late at night.

Diana:  All right, so maybe between him calling, I don’t know what he’ll be able to do but you said between now and Tuesday, Janice will look at everything and maybe she can do something?
Larry:  Yeah and, if he (Josh Lee, a defense attorney recommended by Steidley) does come in and help you, I think the way to do it is maybe tell Gene, ‘You know we’re going another way,’ and just keep him out of it, not even let him know what’s going on at all. And then probably continue your son’s deal for a while and try to, you know I don’t know why they wouldn’t, if he can really get into that other place for free just let him get in there and, you know, they would immediately report it if he left but yet, you know, he probably wouldn’t so
D:  No. He wouldn’t. He wants the, he wants help. He, like I said, he was in, you know, he was in rehab and they pulled him out.  And that’s just mind-boggling to me. So. And he was excelling there. But. Yeah I actually got three different places that he can go, and, for long-term treatment. So hopefully, hopefully she can help and do something
L:  Yeah I mean, just, you know, have to see what it is. But. At least you can have some representation if Josh helped him.
D:  Yeah. Well, you know, at this point I’m willing to do anything. And. Get help anywhere I can.  
L:  Yeah, my wife, don’t get any of this wr-, I mean straight up, just, I mean just right down the line. If she can help him I know she would. I mean that’s what all the alternative court stuff’s about.  
D:  Yeah.
L:  Plus, the fact that thing’s got smell all over it, since that lady had anything to do with him.  
D:  Yeah, I know, and it does, you know even Misty was saying going back all the way to May 3rd, when all that started, and they’ve got it in the police report. He was involved in a hit and run, but it, there was, there was nothing ever said about it again. I mean a hit and run, that’s a pretty serious crime…
L:  Oh I, I know. I’m out driving around trying to find something out here, I can’t talk too many specifics here, just um, I’m trying to figure out, he, did Walton tell you where he uh, wanted to have a drink at?  
D:  No, I didn’t get a specific place, just wanted to have a drink. And, I’m supposed to call him.  Um. I didn’t do it today, I don’t want to seem overeager, um. So I’m thinking that tomorrow afternoon I’m gonna call him and ask him, you know, where would you like to meet at?  Um.
L:  I’d wait ‘til after 5, cause he may have a few by then.   
D:  Well, that’s true…
L:  That’s what I’m thinking…
D:  And if he says, ‘Well, just meet me right now,” I can tell him I’ll be there in 30 minutes. Twenty minutes. Whatever. But the thing is is I don’t understand, like he’s been married for how long? Long time.  
L: Yeah, I don’t think that’s ever stopped him. Um. Well how are you gonna get tailed, or, do you already have the devices that you can just put on or whatever…
D: All I have to do is make a phone call, and that’s what I’m saying, all I have to do is tell him you know ‘give me 30 minutes’ or, how, ‘give me time to get ready and I’ll meet you.’ And then all I have to do is make a phone call and I’ve got it all worked out. It’s… (sigh) and it can be, I, I think it can be done without, I mean I don’t know how smart he is.
L: When can we meet your PI guy?  
D: Um, I don’t care. Whenever you want to I guess, all I gotta do is call him.
L: There’s an upcoming event out of state, I don’t know how much we all wanna…do…but I guess there’s some kind of deal going, getting ready to go on, some sheriff’s convention, that might be the perfect place to get a little information on Scotty. In addition to what you’re doing, you know what I mean.  
D: Yeah. But if we did, if we did get some information on him out of state would it count in Oklahoma?  
L:  Um.  Well that’s what we need… We need to sit down and we need to have a plan. Cause, you know, there’s all kinds of things he is, from a (redacted)to, I hear, and this is what I’m hearing, to the drinking to the (redacted) to all kinds of things and, what if we could get him on tape saying, letting his tongue flow free with the alcohol, I mean, doesn’t necessarily have to be a crime.  
D: Well, that’s true
L: Although, it’d be really good to have all of it, you know, I’m sure he goes there he’s gonna drink and drive, cause he’s, he think’s he’s bulletproof…
D:  Well, nobody’s bulletproof.
L: Nope.
D: So, you know, I just, I just wanted to make sure that…
L: Anyway it doesn’t matter here, there or whatever but it’d be nice to kind of make a plan and have back-up for you guys even. And I think, even potentially there’s some people with, with a badge that’d probably be willing to help. Um. If in fact he is breaking the law, they would just be doing their jobs
D: Yeah
L: And so, this thing may, it may happen, is what I’m telling you it’s… you’ve done closer than anybody else has.  
D: Well, and it didn’t take much, just a real low-cut shirt and tight jeans. And it, it, like I said it didn’t take much. And I was surprised. 

Later, in the same conversation, Larry Steidley describes how he’s driving around on back roads in the dark, looking for Walton. He doesn’t explain why, just that he’s trying to “get Walton in a can.”

He then tells Diana that he “made those phone calls again,” she should expect to get a return phone call from another attorney and then Janice can “kind of look into this” and “we’ll see what happens.”

He remains careful in his wording: “Oh yeah, and like I said, if this is, these two deals have nothing to do. I mean, I would help you with the other just cause it’s the right thing to do, I mean, uh, it’s just the human thing to do, so.  Anyway. Thanks for your help, we’ll see if we can right a wrong or two.

Thurman said Larry Steidley asked her to go to that sheriffs’ convention in Fort Worth to “run into” Walton, get him alone and record some embarrassing moments for broadcast on the internet, she said.

Larry Steidley disputes Thurman’s characterization of the plan.

But Diana Thurman said she backed out of the Fort Worth plan, and nothing beyond conversation ever happened between her and Walton, she said.

Diana Thurman said she and Walton may have spoken at the rodeo and been at the same bar at least once, but the sheriff never conducted himself in any illicit or illegal way toward her.

Walton declined to comment for this story, citing ongoing litigation.

There is no evidence that any of the alleged schemes to catch the sheriff in a “compromising position” ever panned out as intended, even after the OSBI began investigating the case in fall 2014.

But Diana Thurman said she was told on several occasions by Larry Steidley: Do not double cross us.

She’s not sure if they knew she was recording any of their conversations at the time.

“They were thinking I’m just this little hick from Collinsville,” she said.

But her son’s legal case dragged on, and he sat in jail for six months instead of getting immediate treatment for alcoholism.

Thurman said she was warned to cooperate, and told “people get hurt in jail all the time.”