A group of activists, pushing a case for bribery charges made by a Democrat lawyer out of Grand Forks, have filed another grand jury petition in Dunn County. Under North Dakota law, citizens can empanel a grand jury to investigate criminal charges by filing a certain number of signatures based on the population of the county where they’re bringing the charges.
A previous iteration of this petition was thrown out of court by a judge who found many of the signatures to be invalid and who also ruled that petitioners had filed charges in the wrong county since Governor Dalrymple lives in Burleigh County and his campaign committee, which allegedly took the bribes, is headquartered there as well.
Look for this latest petition to be dismissed on similar grounds.
In related news, HB1451 introduced by Rep. Jim Kasper would make this process a bit more arduous. The bill would increase the signature requirement to 25% of a county’s population according to the last federal census, and it would also require that the petitions be filed in the county where the defendant lives.
These seem like common sense reforms that would stop this sort of abuse of the petitioning process from happening in the future.