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Missoula County Attorney plans to take DOJ to court

By Emily Adamson, KECI Reporter, eadamson@keci.com
Published On: Jan 26 2014 04:11:37 PM MST
Van Valkenburg 1214
MISSOULA, Mont. -

Missoula County Attorney Fred Van Valkenburg plans to ask county commissioners for their support to take the Department of Justice to court.

Earlier this month Van Valkenburg sent a letter to the Department of Justice saying he's not going along with a proposed settlement. Van Valkenburg maintains the DOJ doesn't have the legal right to investigate his office for the way it handles sexual assault cases; that investigation started in May 2012.

Now more than two weeks have passed with no response to his letter. Van Valkenburg said in an email Friday, he wants to move forward with legal action.

He'll likely meet with Missoula County Commissioners this week to ask for funds to hire an outside attorney.  From there he plans to file a declaratory judgment action which would allow a judge to decide if the DOJ can legally investigate the Missoula County Attorney’s Office.