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|Dunn County Residents Demand Bribery Investigation of Dalrymple|
|Written by Chet|
Here's how things work in North Dakota:
(a) someone figures out a Republican politician is doing something illegal;
(b) she becomes incensed;
(c) she contacts law enforcement;
(d) if any investigation takes place at all, the local prosecutor (a Republican) decides not to prosecute it because "it's too hard" or "I'm not smart enough to figure it out" or "my Republican friends will be mean to me;"
(e) she contacts the local media because "surely" they'll be interested, do a thorough investigation and expose the criminals for what they are;
(f) the "suits" in the local media will shut down any investigative journalism (if there's a real reporter on staff) (and there probably isn't); and
(g) people eventually forget about it.
That's how Republican corruption is handled in North Dakota.
WILLISTON, N.D. – Residents of Dunn County want a grand jury to decide if campaign contributions Gov. Jack Dalrymple accepted from the oil industry may be considered bribery.
More than 170 residents signed a petition submitted Wednesday that could force the Dunn County District Court to convene a grand jury and consider whether Dalrymple should be prosecuted under Class C felony bribery statutes.
The petition, which uses a state statute that may not have been used in decades, stems from money Dalrymple’s campaign accepted while he was also serving as the head of the North Dakota Industrial Commission.
So citizens of Dunn County, North Dakota -- God's Country, by the way -- have demanded an investigation into something that looks a lot like bribery. And this is something the people know about because of butt-kicking reportage here at NorthDecoder.com. (And, by the way, we had exactly zero involvement in the people of Dunn County taking this to the next level.) And now a local prosecutor is stepping in the way of the people exercising their right to have answers?
Check out this snippet from the Forum story:
Lisa Guenther, clerk of court for Dunn County, said she received documents Wednesday, but they were not yet filed as an official record. Because the documents involve criminal allegations, Guenther said Dunn County State’s Attorney Ross Sundeen will review the documents before they are filed.
I think that's interesting. Here's what the statute says:
29-10.1-02. When grand jury may be called. No grand jury may be drawn, summoned, or convened in any county within this state unless the district judge thereof shall so direct by a written order filed with the clerk of the court in the county wherein the said grand jury is required to attend. Any judge of the district court for any county must direct, in the manner herein provided, that a grand jury be drawn and summoned to attend whenever:
1. The judge deems the attendance of a grand jury necessary for the due enforcement of the laws of the state;
2. The board of county commissioners of the county wherein the court is to be held, in writing, requests the judge so to do; or
3. A petition in writing requesting the same is presented to the judge, signed by qualified electors of the county equal in number to at least ten percent of the total vote cast in the county for the office of governor of the state at the last general election.
29-10.1-03. Judge to summon grand jury. Upon presentment of the request of petition, the judge shall promptly summon and convene the grand jury.
29-10.1-04. Petition for grand jury - Petitioners - Number - Session.The petition for a grand jury prescribed by section 29-10.1-02 must be verified on information and belief by at least three of the petitioners. The formation of a grand jury under this chapter may not be invalidated should it appear or be proven after the grand jury has been summoned that any of the petitioners were not qualified electors or that the petition was not signed by the required number of qualified electors. No grand jury may remain in session in excess of ten calendar days, unless the judge by written order filed with the clerk of the court extends the session as may be necessary. Unless extended, the grand jury must be discharged at the close of the tenth day of its session. Saturdays, legal holidays, and days in recess must be excluded in computing the duration of the initial or extended session.
ND Century Code (emphasis added)
Keeping in mind this is someone I know and respect, I don't see anything in the code that gives a States Attorney authority to intercept a petition like this, or authority to scrutinize it for formal propriety before the Order is put in a District Court judge's hands. Were I a Dunn County Judge, I might have a word or two for anybody who got in between me and one of these petitions. I wouldn't care if they were a prosecutor, a court clerk, the Secretary of State or an all-star wrestler. There is a legal mandate requiring this to be placed in the judge's hands, and for a grand jury to be summoned. If there are questions about its form, those are to be handled afterwards. That's what the law says.
I think the Dunn County prosecutor is making a serious mistake -- possibly even breaking the law -- by proving we need a statute that takes that kind of authority, power and discretion away from local prosecutors. Under our laws, if a hundred and seventy (170) citizens of Dunn County think someone has done something worth investigating, but local law enforcement (i.e. cops and prosecutors) refuse to even initiate an investigation, we have a tool in North Dakota law that empowers the people to force the investigation to happen. A worthwhile governmental system would want this so that -- for example -- a corrupt system of government could be called to task by its people when cops, prosecutors, judges and/or other government officials suspected of crimes refuse to investigate their friends.
Readers of NorthDecoder.com have known about this for nearly a month. We broke the story on October 8th showing how Darlymple was paid tens of thousands of dollars by people with pending administrative actions before the State Industrial Commission. A "real media" would have picked up on it, as it was circulated widely. According to the stats shown on Scribd.com, over 1,200 people have read the document on Scribd.com, while nearly 3,000 read the embedded version on NorthDecoder.com. A lot of people know about Dalrymple's sketchy campaign contributions and are obviously outraged about it. Though many of them read NorthDecoder.com, none has had the stones to do anything about it. And the newspapers -- all of which are in the back pocket of the State Chamber of Commerce and the oil industry -- have read my story about it, too. Because of their inaction, a hundred and seventy Dunn County residents have taken it upon themselves to do something about it. We, at NorthDecoder.com, applaud that.
They say "Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely." I have a prediction I'm going to share with just you folks. (This is just between you and me.) My prediction is that the aftermath of this matter will be that Republicans in North Dakota will amend this law during the next legislative session, taking away this power and authority from the people. The only thing standing between North Dakota Republicans and their absolutely corrupt power right now is this provision in the law that forces an investigation to happen when the people demand it. When they take that power away from the people, they will have absolute power.
Here's the actual petition:
nimrod's leftist uncle said:
Jonathan Bry said:
nimrod's leftist uncle said:
Chet's Alter-ego said:
Disillusioned Citizen said:
big jake said: