Van Valkenburg Sends Response To DOJ Proposed Agreement - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Van Valkenburg Sends Response To DOJ Proposed Agreement

Posted: Updated:
MISSOULA -

Missoula County Attorney Fred Van Valkenburg sent the Department of Justice a letter, saying a federal investigation into the way his office handles sexual assaults is "not acceptable". County commissioners gave attorney Fred Van Valkenburg the okay to send the four and a half page letter at a meeting Thursday morning.

Van Valkenburg said the letter is meant to show the county is willing to take the legal steps necessary to stop the DOJ from investigating his office.

"I want the Department of Justice to negotiate in good faith a resolution on the matter," Van Valkenburg said.

The letter comes after Van Valkenburg proposed last week the county file a lawsuit against the DOJ for acting beyond its jurisdiction.

Filing the lawsuit would cost the county around $50,000, and come from a fund already set aside from the county's budget. Before it comes down to any legal action, Van Valkenburg said he hopes this letter will help his office and the DOJ come to a resolution.

"I also hope the general public understands from this letter the position our office is taking, and why we're taking it," he said.

The county attorney's office is the final of three Missoula agencies to come to an agreement with the Department of Justice over sexual assault investigations in Missoula. The University of Montana, and Missoula police have already signed settlements agreeing to change the way they handle sexual assaults.

The DOJ offered county attorney's a similar settlement last month.

"The DOJ settlement is totally unacceptable," Van Valkenburg said.

His letter said the county doesn't need federal agencies telling it how to deal with sexual assault investigations, because his office has been successfully dealing with these types of cases for years.

"It ignores all of the good work the people in Missoula, especially the attorney's office, have been doing a long time," Van Valkenburg said.

He said a DOJ investigation could cost tax payers thousands of dollars each year of what could be a two year investigation. He also said the investigation would take away his rights as an elected official to choose how to run his office.

"The prosecutor is elected for a reason, so that he's accountable to votes of community he works in, he's not accountable to someone in DC," Van Valkenburg said.

The letter was sent Thursday afternoon, and the county is giving the DOJ two weeks to respond. Van Valkenburg will then meet with commissioners again to discuss whether to move forward with a lawsuit.

 

 

  • Most Popular

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • WATCH: Cell Phone Video Of Sinking Ferry Released As 270 Are Still Missing

    WATCH: Cell Phone Video Of Sinking Ferry Released As 270 Are Still Missing

    Friday, April 18 2014 4:21 PM EDT2014-04-18 20:21:35 GMT
    MOKPO, South Korea (AP) - Searchers have now put markers on the surface of the water where the South Korean ferry went down. Part of the ship had remained above the surface until today, but now the entire vessel is submerged. They're continuing the effort to find some 270 people who are missing and feared dead.
    MOKPO, South Korea (AP) - Searchers have now put markers on the surface of the water where the South Korean ferry went down. Part of the ship had remained above the surface until today, but now the entire vessel is submerged. They're continuing the effort to find some 270 people who are missing and feared dead.
  • Hotels Continue To Build In Bozeman

    Hotels Continue To Build In Bozeman

    Friday, April 18 2014 8:07 PM EDT2014-04-19 00:07:18 GMT
    The city of Bozeman could see up to five new hotels by 2015. The Comfort Suites in Bozeman is one of three new hotels built off Valley Center in the past year."Since then we have been growing and developing,"
    The city of Bozeman could see up to five new hotels by 2015.
  • UM Easter Egg Hunt Goes Green

    UM Easter Egg Hunt Goes Green

    Friday, April 18 2014 8:06 PM EDT2014-04-19 00:06:34 GMT
    With thousands of plastic eggs set to speckle the lawn at the University of Montana this weekend, a Missoula business is keeping the event green. Missoula Federal Credit Union is making recycling
    With thousands of plastic eggs set to speckle the lawn at the University of Montana this weekend, a Missoula business is keeping the event green.
  • UPDATE: Deadly Shooting In Spokane Valley; Authorities Looking For Witnesses

    UPDATE: Deadly Shooting In Spokane Valley; Authorities Looking For Witnesses

    Wednesday, February 12 2014 11:40 PM EST2014-02-13 04:40:22 GMT
    SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. - One man was shot and killed following a high speed pursuit that ended near the Spokane Valley Mall on Tuesday night. It started around 7:00 PM when Spokane Police received a call from a man who was in a car claiming to be unstable and threatening suicide by forcing police to shoot him. 
    SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. - One man was shot and killed following a high speed pursuit that ended near the Spokane Valley Mall on Tuesday night. It started around 7:00 PM when Spokane Police received a call from a man who was in a car claiming to be unstable and threatening suicide by forcing police to shoot him. 
  • Man Identified In Fatal Crash Friday Morning On Bowdish Rd.

    Man Identified In Fatal Crash Friday Morning On Bowdish Rd.

    Friday, April 18 2014 4:13 PM EDT2014-04-18 20:13:11 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - The man killed in an early morning crash on Friday has been identified as 34-year-old, Alejandro E. Apodaca. Just before 12:30, Apodaca crashed his car on S. Bowdish Rd. He was traveling South on Bowdish near 17th when he lost control of his car, uprooting a tree in the front yard of a home.
    SPOKANE, Wash. - The man killed in an early morning crash on Friday has been identified as 34-year-old, Alejandro E. Apodaca. Just before 12:30, Apodaca crashed his car on S. Bowdish Rd. He was traveling South on Bowdish near 17th when he lost control of his car, uprooting a tree in the front yard of a home.
  • Forest Service Wants Ski Areas Open Longer

    Forest Service Wants Ski Areas Open Longer

    Friday, April 18 2014 8:13 PM EDT2014-04-19 00:13:32 GMT
    For the most part, the ski season is either over or winding down, but that doesn't mean the resorts have to close until next winter. Nationally, there are more than 100 ski areas on nearly 180,000
    For the most part, the ski season is either over or winding down, but that doesn't mean the resorts have to close until next winter.
  • Frontage Road Crash Victim Identified

    Frontage Road Crash Victim Identified

    Thursday, April 17 2014 1:37 PM EDT2014-04-17 17:37:02 GMT
    The Gallatin County coroner says 30-year-old Kari Friedman from Bozeman died in a crash at the intersection of Frontage and Valley Center Roads Wednesday. The Montana Highway Patrol said Friedman was turning
    The Gallatin County coroner says 30-year-old Kari Friedman from Bozeman died in a crash at the intersection of Frontage and Valley Center Roads Wednesday.
  • WARNING GRAPHIC PHOTOS: 150 Pound Bernese Mountain Dog Attacked By Two Pit Bulls

    WARNING GRAPHIC PHOTOS: 150 Pound Bernese Mountain Dog Attacked By Two Pit Bulls

    Friday, April 4 2014 5:11 PM EDT2014-04-04 21:11:26 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - KHQ received a call into our newsroom from a viewer who was very upset with the way SCRAPS has handled her dog getting attacked by two pit bulls in their own front yard. Last Friday, March 28th, her stepson let their dog, a 150-pound dog outside in the front yard when he was attacked by two pit bulls.
    SPOKANE, Wash. - KHQ received a call into our newsroom from a viewer who was very upset with the way SCRAPS has handled her dog getting attacked by two pit bulls in their own front yard. Last Friday, March 28th, her stepson let their dog, a 150-pound dog outside in the front yard when he was attacked by two pit bulls.
Powered by WorldNow

Features

  • More Features
  • Powered by WorldNow
    All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and Cowles Montana Media. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.