Van Valkenburg to Move Forward with DOJ Lawsuit - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Van Valkenburg to Move Forward with DOJ Lawsuit

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MISSOULA -

The legal representative for the Missoula County Attorney's Office said the DOJ's claim they found evidence of gender bias and discrimination within the county attorney's office is unsupported and unfair.

The U.S. Department of Justice released a letter of findings on Friday, stating the county attorney's office's response to sexual assault discriminates against women.

The letter was released to the public three days after Fred Van Valkenburg filed a complaint for declaratory judgment against the DOJ.

Van Valkenburg maintains the federal government has no legal right to investigate the way his office operates.

DOJ investigators said they spoke with victims of sexual assault whose cases were handled by prosecutors at the County Attorney's office.

They said those prosecutors used phrases like, "all you want is revenge," and "boys will be boys," when discussing the women's cases.

On Tuesday, Tasha Jones, who's representing the County Attorney's office, said in a statement the DOJ's allegations are untrue, vague and it would be against state law for the office to comment on a specific sexual assault case.

Jones also stated the fact that the DOJ released the letter only after Van Valkenburg filed for federal court action was calculated and retaliatory.

Jones said the County Attorney will move forward with the lawsuit against the DOJ.

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