A second attempt by backers of a petition calling for Governor Jack Dalrymple to be investigated for alleged bribery has failed in Dunn County. Despite a pretty low bar for the number of signatures required, circulators couldn’t find enough qualified signers. Plus, the judge ruled again that Dunn County isn’t the appropriate jurisdiction for the investigation:
MANNING, N.D. — A judge has again dismissed a Dunn County petition seeking a grand jury investigation of Gov. Jack Dalrymple on allegations of bribery related to oil industry campaign contributions.
Southwest Judicial District Judge William Herauf ruled that the petition lacked signatures from qualified voters and did not have the appropriate verifying signatures. He also ruled, as he did when he dismissed a similar petition last November, that Dunn County is not the appropriate venue for the bribery allegations.
The petition, filed Feb. 4 with signatures of 267 people, required signatures from 205 qualified Dunn County voters.
Herauf said in his order that post office boxes are mailing addresses, not residential addresses, and are not sufficient to prove that someone is a “qualified elector.” He excluded signatures from those who listed post office boxes, as well as a few other addresses he questioned such as a crew camp and an oil well location. That brought the number of qualified signatures down to 156.
When Judge Herauf threw the first petition out the circulators challenged it to the state Supreme Court, which declined to hear their case.