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Tag: Missoula

County Attorney in Montana Doesn’t Want DOJ Investigating Handling of Sexual Assault Cases

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

An attorney for Missoula County in Montana is arguing that the Justice Department has no authority to investigate how local authorities handle sexual assault cases, the Associated Press reports.

Attorney Fred Van Valkenburg even went on to say that the county is an unfair target of the DOJ’s.

“For whatever reason we have been kind of picked on by the DOJ, and I honestly think we have a greater responsibility to the country as a whole, to prosecutors in every county in America, to stand up and say, ‘This is wrong, you can’t do this,’” Van Valkenburg told county officials.

The county, Missoula police and the University of Montana campus police came under a federal investigation in May 2012.

Police cooperated and even increased training and changed some policies.

State Legislator Concerned Over DEA Questioning About Her Over Marijuana

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

A Montana state legislator claims the DEA is investigating her because of her support of medical marijuana laws.

Diane Sands, a Democratic in the State House, told the Missoulian that a possible witness in a DEA investigation into medical marijuana businesses was asked if she was  part of a conspiracy to sell medical marijuana. DEA Agents from Billings, Mont., asked the questions, Sands learned from the witness’ attorney.

Sands has worked on and supported medical marijuana laws in the past.

“So now, if you’re a state legislator who has been working on medical marijuana laws, you are somehow part of a conspiracy,” she said. “It’s ridiculous, of course, but it’s also threatening to think that the federal government is willing to use its influence and try to chill discussion about this subject.”

To ead more click here.

 

Montana Fed Judge Blasts Prosecutors in Asbestos Criminal Trial

missoula-montanaThe pain of the Sen. Ted Stevens case still languishes. In that case, the government was accused of misconduct that included  failing to turn over documents to the defense. The conviction was vacated. Now comes this case where the allegations are similar and the judge, just like in the Stevens case, is steaming mad.

By KIRK JOHNSON
New York Times
MISSOULA, Mont. – A chastened team of prosecutors stood here on Monday before a clearly angry federal judge in the criminal trial over asbestos contamination in the small town of Libby, Mont., and in soft voices, trying to salvage their threatened case, said they were sorry.

“The truth of the matter is that we just dropped the ball,” said Tim Racicot, an assistant United States attorney, standing before Judge Donald W. Molloy at a hearing in Federal District Court in the trial of W. R. Grace, the big chemical products company, and five of its executives, who are charged with multiple felonies in connection with their operation of a vermiculite mine in Libby.

Lawyers for Grace asked last week for the charges to be thrown out after two months of testimony. They accused prosecutors of repeatedly violating court orders to turn over evidence favorable to the defense and of putting on the stand a star witness whose credibility, they said, has since been shattered by information about his character, motivation and relationship with the prosecutors that the jury never heard about.