The claims by “The State” (Cynthia Feland, Lloyd Suhr, and Richard Riha of the Burleigh County State’s Attorney’s Office) that the “alleged” additional criminal offenses by Sandy Blunt related to David Spencer’s moving expenses and sick leave were part of the criminal case against Blunt from the “get-go” or from “day one” are demonstrably false. The State’s claim that a single audit working paper (page C99) -- a page that was inadvertently provided to Blunt in discovery and not supported by any investigation or any other documentation-- establishes or even suggests it was the known and intentional basis for the Spencer related crimes from the “get-go” or from “day one” is provably false.
The “get-go” guarantee was also made in the face of an overwhelming amount of evidence within The State’s possession that proved not only that there was no probable cause for charging the additional criminal offenses related to Workforce Safety and Insurance (WSI) recouping the reimbursement of moving expenses from involuntarily separated former WSI senior staff member David Spencer.
The State’s contrived “get-go” guarantee to Judge Bruce Romanick (lie) was extremely significant to the case because it allowed The State to wrongly prosecute Blunt in front of a jury of his peers for additional criminal offenses related to Spencer’s separation without ever being provided with the evidence of the crimes or a preliminary hearing; a denial of Blunt’s due process rights.
The FALSE claim that Spencer issues were part of the case “from the get-go” is repeated over and over to the North Dakota Supreme Court as well as to the Court’s Disciplinary Board Panel that heard the case of Cynthia Feland on June 29 and 30, 2011. It is especially significant as Sandy Blunt’s supposed refusal to obtain reimbursement of Spencer's moving expenses was a primary aspect of Blunt’s trial and conviction.
North Dakota Supreme Court Disciplinary Board Chief Council asks Judge Feland why Spencer was not a subject of the August 7, 2007 Preliminary Hearing.
Watch the following video to understand how 2.25 hours is “FOREVER” according to Judge Cynthia Feland:
Further Background Information regarding Judge Feland’s “FOREVER” claim:
NOT ENOUGH TIME TO INTRODUCE SPENCER OR
FIRE FIGHTER GRANT AT PRELIMINARY HEARING
In the June 29 & 30, 2011, Disciplinary Hearing in the matter of Attorney Cynthia Feland, The State (through Feland) repeatedly asserted under oath at the hearing that The State did not have enough time to cover the matters of David Spencer and the Fire Fighter’s Grant at the August 7, 2007, Preliminary Hearing due to the length of time the hearing had already taken:
June 30, 2011; 10:12 am
MR. JACOBSON: You did testify that the aspect of the Spencer moving expenses recoupment was not part of the preliminary hearing, you explained that you do not have to present everything. My question is, why wasn’t it presented?
MS. FELAND: The preliminary hearing, presenting just the evidence that we did to the day, that is a long preliminary hearing. Not that we don’t have long preliminary hearings. I’ve never had one that went as long as that one did. Typically in a major case, a homicide case, something, I wouldn’t call it tantamount to this from the standpoint of just sheer volume of documents. It doesn’t come close to this but it is probably the next closest thing that we do at The State’s Attorney’s Office because those are very evidence intensive cases. Typically we will set a half a day for one of those. We set aside a whole day and we didn’t go right to five o’clock but I know it was late in the afternoon by the time that we finished and it was a one witness, I had Mr. Quinn from the Bureau of Criminal Investigation, he testified, and it went on forever.
MR. JACOBSON: So, it would have taken too long is why you did not present the evidence concerning the moving expenses at the preliminary hearing?
MS. FELAND: I suppose that I could have done moving expenses, I could have gotten into the sick leave. I suppose I could have gotten into all of those things but that is not the point of a preliminary hearing and quite frankly, The Court is less than impressed if we decide that we are going to have a mini-trial at the preliminary hearing stage.
June 30, 2011;11:10 am
MS. FELAND: And then ultimately you end up with the trial. Judge Wefald dismissed it back here at the prelim. I had to bring enough evidence forward to show in count one that there was over 10,000 dollars so I did that through the meeting expenses and the gift certificates. And then that took almost a full day. And we didn’t even present arguments. He asked us to put in written, post-hearing briefs and he ultimately made his decision. That is not common. We don’t usually have preliminary hearings that long. They usually take half hour on a routine case? Fifteen minutes on some. A judge usually makes up his mind right there. And again, to Judge Wefald’s credit, he heard a lot of evidence so that it was something that he wanted to go back and reflect on.
But what is the truth? Did the hearing really take almost a full day? Normally, a “full day” in court is considered to run from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (7 court hours and a 1 hour lunch). So if Blunt’s hearing took almost a full day then it could reasonably be expected that the hearing took roughly 6 court hours or more; however, it did not. The court records reveal that Blunt’s hearing took less than one third of a full day. The August 7, 2007, “Appeal Transcript of Preliminary Hearing” documents that the hearing began at 1:30 p.m. and concluded at 3:45 p.m. for a total time --including a recess-- of 2 hours and 15 minutes.
“The following is a transcript of the proceedings had and made of record before The Honorable Robert O. Wefald, District Judge, presiding, commencing at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, August 7, 2007 … Recess taken at 2:28 p.m. … Open court resumed at 2:55 p.m. … WHEREUPON, this hearing was duly ended at 3:45 p.m.”
Yet, even with the 3½ hours (half a court day) originally set for the hearing, The State (through Feland) had more than enough time to have added the three additional criminal offenses to Count I without impacting the original window of time whatsoever. The transcript documents that Quinn was called to the stand on the last half of page 4 and Feland concluded her direct examination of Quinn related to the evidence in Count I on first half of page 16. CONTRARY TO THE STATE’S WILDLY EXAGGERATED LENGTH-OF-TIME CLAIMS, THE COURT RECORDS ARE DEFINITIVE THAT IT TOOK ONLY 12 PAGES FOR THE STATE TO PRESENT ITS ENTIRE CASE OF EVIDENCE FOR COUNT I.
The next logical question to ask would be, “How long would it have taken The State to have presented 12 transcribed pages of evidence under direct examination?” Below is a logic-based analysis of estimated hearing times using known and recorded data points. This logical analysis demonstrates that it would have taken approximately 19 ½ minutes for The State and Quinn to have completely presented ALL of the evidence related to Count I that was in The State’s possession at the time of the hearing.
Page 01 – 1:30 p.m.
Page 36 – 2:28 p.m.
36 Pages in 0:58 minutes
Average time per page 1.61 minutes
Total Pages of Direct Examination for Count I (total case in chief for Count I), 12 Pages
12 Pages * 1.61 minutes = 19.32 minutes
Based on the estimated timing above, it would have taken The State no more than an additional 10-15 minutes (AT THE VERY MOST) to have presented the three other “known” Spencer and Fire Fighter’s grant issues as well; time which The State indisputably had since the TOTAL presentation of the case in chief for Count I was only about 20 minutes. Further, by the end of Page 8 - start of Page 9 --less than 7½ minutes into The State’s direct examination of Quinn-- Feland asks Quinn to outline for her ALL of the expenditures that “encompassed the misapplication of entrusted funds that we have listed under Count I of the complaint.”
21 Q. (By Ms. Feland continuing) Which of the
22 expenditures encompassed the misapplication of entrusted
23 funds that we have listed under Count I of the complaint?
24 A. They would be the expenditures for gift
25 certificates, staff meetings where beverages, lunches were
1 purchased, and employee incentives which would go along with
2 the gift certificates.
As defined by the Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, encompass means “to include entirely or comprehensively.” So the question asked by The State to Quinn was, “Which of the expenditures entirely or comprehensively constituted all of the misapplication of entrusted funds that we have listed under Count I of the complaint?” To which Quinn responded, “They would be the expenditures for gift certificates, staff meetings where beverages, lunches were purchased, and employee incentives which would go along with the gift certificates."
At NO TIME did Quinn EVER mention anything related to the sick leave, moving expenses, or a grant when outlining for The State and the Court the expenditures that entirely or comprehensively constituted ALL of the items The State had charged and “listed under Count I of the complaint.”
So Count II had to have taken “hours” to present then? Again, no. The State’s case in chief related to Count II goes from last half of page 16 to the last quarter of page 24 where Feland announces, “The state has nothing further of this witness, Your Honor.” (NOTE: Quinn was The State’s one and ONLY witness for the entire hearing and Mike Hoffman (Blunt’s Attorney) did not call any witnesses.)
Therefore, The State’s ENTIRE CASE IN CHIEF for BOTH COUNTS I & II was just 20¼ pages or approximately 32½ minutes* long (the exact amount of time for “a routine case”). Therefore, based on the hearing’s estimated timing, The State had more than enough time to have presented ALL of the other additional criminal offenses for Count I – that is IF THEY HAD ACTUALLY KNOWN OF THE ADDITIONAL CRIMINAL OFFENSES AT THE TIME OF THE HEARING. (*Total Pages of Direct Examination for Count I & II, 20 ¼ Pages -- 20 ¼ Pages * 1.61 minutes = 32.60 minutes)