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February 2, 2011 Dear Assistant Attorney General

by pete on February 2, 2011

February 2, 2011

Dear Assistant Attorney General,

     I received your generic dismissal letter on behalf of Attorney General Steve Bullock.  In your letter you state, “The Attorney General has no supervisory authority over county commissioners and only limited supervisory authority over county attorneys.  That authority can only be exercised when the actions of the county attorney constitute a manifest abuse of discretion.  In this instance, there appears to be no abuse of discretion on the part of the Gallatin County Attorney. 

     Now, my question is this:  The news media has reported this as a violation of a state law – does the Attorney General not have the power to enforce state laws?  Did the County Attorney not abuse his discretion by letting this situation go on for so long that now the citizens, one way or another, are going to suffer the consequences for his “choice” of discretion?  Am I mistaken in assuming his job was to provide the first line of defense against the commissioners CHOICE to “circumvent the law” or “do an end-run around the law” as Judge Brown put it?  Is it not the job of the County Attorney to protect the CITIZENS of the county from law breakers of ALL kinds including the commissioners?  Is it not the job of the Attorney General to safeguard the citizens of the state from any and/or all attempts to circumvent STATE laws? 

     In your letter you go on to say “Gallatin County is not the only county in Montana facing the issues raised in the lawsuit filed by the deputies and these issues are troubling for citizens in those counties.  As for recourse for the citizens, I cannot give you legal advice and if you wish to explore your options I would suggest that you seek legal counsel.”

     I hope you will forgive me for my ignorance.  I thought that by taking my question about a violation of state law to the state attorney general I was seeking legal counsel.  I mistakenly thought that the Attorney general was responsible for enforcing ALL state laws.  I did not know that in Montana, apparently, elected county officials are immune from the laws of the state.  I thought it was the job of the attorney general to protect the citizens of the state from abuse no matter where it comes from.

     You may think that it is somehow consoling to tell me that “Gallatin County is not the only count in Montana facing the issues raised in the lawsuit file by the deputies and these issues are troubling for citizens in those counties.”  Pardon me if I seem stupid, but that seems to me that you are saying that if the law is broken enough times and by enough people that the solution is to just ignore the law.

     I must admit that we do see, quite frequently, that “the system” finds it far easier to put the burden back on the innocent victims than to punish the law breakers.  Why should you be any different?

Sincerely,

Peter Rothing

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Erik Strand February 7, 2011 at 10:20 am

It is good to see that you stand up against corruption. Corruption and the most hideous abuse of power is rampant throughout the US and the world. The organisation Fampo publishes info about corruption at http://www.fampo.no, in the hope that people will read and react. You may find something familiar here: http://www.fampo.no/uslocal.html

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