County Attorney Van Valkenburg Responds + the Correspondence With the DOJ Civil Rights Division

by jhwygirl

Because comments can get buried, and in full fairness to Missoula County Attorney Fred Van Valkenburg, I want to make sure readers see Van Valkenburg’s response to my most recent post on the Department of Justice (DOJ) civil rights investigation of the University of Montana/City of Missoula Police and the Missoula County Attorney’s office.

Van Valkenburg had attempted to comment yesterday evening, but wordpress wasn’t cooperative. I thank him for taking the time to recreate the lost response…along with sending all of his correspondence with the DOJ civil rights division.

Here are the letters, in chronological order:

The first letter from the DOJ to the Missoula County Board of County Commissioners (undated, but referred to as May 1, 2012)

This second letter from the DOJ, dated May 4, 2012 appears to be a response to discussions held in person with Mr. Van Valkenburg upon the initial public announcement of the investigation.

The third letter is Van Valkenburg’s first written response to the DOJ request for information. Dated May 14, 2012.

This forth letter, from the DOJ to Van Valkenburg, is dated May 23, 2012. It responds to Van Valkenburg’s May 14th letter, but erroneously refers to it as the May 4, 2012 letter – that information from Van Valkenburg.

The fifth letter, dated May 25, 2012 is Van Valkenburg’s second response to the DOJ. Van Valkenburg challenges some of the DOJ’s basis’ for the investigation, including their search for information related to the county attorney’s office role as law enforcement officer.

On May 29, 2012, the DOJ reiterates its request for documents in this letter. It includes an attachment listing what they are requesting, and notifies Van Valkenburg that the DOJ will be in Missoula near the first of July to discuss the investigation.

This June 6, 2012 letter from the DOJ is in specific response to Van Valkenburg’s May 25th letter. The DOJ answers Van Valkenburg’s two challenges to their authority over the county prosecutor’s office, and states that they “will not repeat the position that we have articulated in prior correspondence and believe that it adequately advises you of the basis of our jurisdiction.”

In his third letter, dated June 25, 2012, Van Valkenburg responds, informing the DOJ once again that he is still unconvinced of their authority, but note that he and his office “will continue gathering the information you have asked for in previous letters in the event you change course and either provide me with sufficient legal authority for an investigation or you accept my offer to work together cooperatively in the absence of any threats of litigation, we will not be providing such information at this time to you, Ms. Mondino or anyone else in your office.”

  1. what fred fails to see in his myopic and paranoid tunnel vision regarding the Dept Of Justice is this:

    Bubba getting away with hate crimes against blacks because he is white down south is really no different than men getting away with rape and sexual violence toward women because they are men.

    by the tenets of the civil rights act of congress the DOJ is obligated to look over the shoulders of local district attorneys from time to time to determine whether or not justice is being meted out blindly on the merits of the case, not on which party has an appendage, or which party has the palest complexion.

    the case files do not lie in missoula county. rape cases are routinely not prosecuted here and it has allowed a culture of rape and sexual violence to grow in missoula to the point that victims have felt helpless and afraid to come forward because “they won’t do anything to him anyway.”

    it remains to be seen whether fred has failed because he won’t release the files. this makes him look guilty to anyone with any degree of intelligence and it embarrasses those of us who live in this county and support his office with our tax dollars.

    Fred has a simple choice here. either release the documents to the DOJ so that Missoula can resolve this or resign so that we may have a county district attorney who holds the best interests of his/her office and the objectives of “justice for all” above his/her own ego.

  2. Buzz Feedback

    Does Hill County need a new D.A.? I’d like to propose a free transfer …

  3. Chuck

    The problem PB is that the DOJ is incompetent and Fred knows it.

  4. Smokey

    Chuck hit it squarely on the head! Well play Fred, keep up the good work. I know how well that office runs and don’t believe for one minute that there is anything going on but some chest pounding from the DOJ.

  5. Matt

    My favorite part is Fred’s last letter basically stating that if the DOJ want to know specifics about a certain case or situation, to just “ask us” as we’ll tell you why we did it.

    Oh really? Isn’t that what the DOJ wanted all along? Except, Fred’s office wants to be sure they are able to spin it the best they can before the DOJ can really dig into what happened.
    The more I read this, the more I think that Van Valkenburg’s office has something to hide.
    Fred prattles on about how he has no time to give the DOJ what it needs, but apparently has plenty of time to stonewall and screw around with legal precedent to avoid giving then anything at all.

    I would not be surprised in the slightest to hear in the next months/years that Van Valkenburg’s office mishandled a rape case and made a poor decision someplace along the line. Yet, he wants to use the “big bad evil federal govt” argument as it’s a trendy thing to do these days.
    This has cover your ass written all over it.

  6. Big Johansson

    Hey, everything’s cool.

    U of M Football team just got a new hand book.

  1. 1 Why Is Van Valkenburg Consulting with Seattle? Seattle Violated Civil Rights. « 4&20 blackbirds

    […] you might remember, is refusing to cooperate with the DOJ investigation. He’s also provided all of his correspondence with the DOJ, along with a reply to previous postings here at 4&20 on the […]

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