Missoula County Attorney Fred Van Valkenburg met with the County Commission today to discuss the most recent revelations concerning his ongoing dispute with the United States Department of Justice.
The Department of Justice investigated how the University of Montana, city police and Van Valkenburg's office handle reports of sexual assault that came to light in 2012. Investigators wanted to know if gender discrimination affected the response of local law enforcement and university officials to several reports of assault over an 18-month period.
U-M and the Missoula Police Department reached settlement agreements with the agency, but Van Valkenburg insists D-o-J has no authority over the county attorney's office.
All three Missoula county commissioners supported Van Valkenburg's stance as well as his legal moves to have a federal judge issue a declaratory judgment in his favor.
As Edward O'Brien reports, his defiance towards the D-o-J hasn't wavered a bit - even if the support of one county commissioner has: