CHANDLER — Investigators Thursday searched the law office here of attorney Craig Key, who was the judge in the widely publicized Kelsey Smith-Briggs case.
The search arose from an investigation by Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt's office and the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, Assistant Attorney General Megan Tilly confirmed.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol assisted in the search, she said.
Key, 47, was not arrested. His attorney did not return a call for comment Thursday.
Key is suspected of involvement in cattle theft and other crimes, The Oklahoman has learned. Investigators Thursday also seized his cellphone, The Oklahoman has learned.
Key was the former Lincoln County associate district judge who lost re-election in 2006 after he was widely criticized for his handling of the abused girl's case.
Kelsey, 2, died on Oct. 11, 2005, at her Meeker home. She had suffered repeated injuries in the year before her death.
Key was criticized because he had returned Kelsey four months before her death to her mother even though the mother was suspected of abusing her.
His ruling was against the advice of the Department of Human Services.
Kelsey died from a “blunt force trauma” injury to the abdomen. No one was ever convicted of her death.
Her mother, Raye Dawn Smith, 33, is serving a 27-year prison sentence. She was convicted in 2007 by a jury of enabling child abuse.
Kelsey's stepfather, Michael Lee Porter, in 2007 pleaded guilty to enabling child abuse after initially being charged with murder. Porter is serving a 30-year prison sentence.
The mother and the stepfather blamed each other for the death.
Key wrote a book about the case called “A Deadly Game of Tug of War: The Kelsey Smith-Briggs Story.”
Key has been having financial difficulties. Last week, two banks and a credit union sued him.
In one lawsuit, a bank in Seminole County alleges Key and his wife owe more than $100,000 on a loan.
In the other lawsuit, Central Oklahoma Federal Credit Union and First Bank of Chandler allege Key and his wife owe more than $200,000 on mortgages.