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Monday, February 06, 2012



 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. And The State’s claim that a legally-executed grant to the North Dakota Firefighter's Association was also part of the case from the “get-go” is beyond truthful. The get-goguarantee 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 but that the additional criminal offenses were in fact determined to have been legal acts. Lastly, The State’s contrived get-goguarantee 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 without ever being provided with the evidence of the crimes or a preliminary hearing; a denial of Blunt’s due process rights.





On May 10, 2007, The State provided to Blunt a 528 page discovery transmittal that included 30 pages of “C Series” audit working papers. Inadvertently sitting among the clean, unedited C Series audit working papers was a non-descript page entitled page C99 which contained struck out language relating to Spencer’s moving expenses and noted “Eventually we were told (and convinced) the separation was other than voluntary.”




In that Spencer’s Letter of Hire clearly documented that a “voluntary” resignation was required to trigger the time-delimited collection of any portion of his moving expenses, page C99 actually proved nothing was owed by Spencer and that this page was simply in there by accident as pages C100 and C101 contained data that was part of the case. Nevertheless, Feland --under questioning from her Attorney Ronald Fischer at her Disciplinary Hearing-- stated under oath to the Hearing Panel that the only reason the C99 document was in her discovery was to prove the Spencer moving expenses issue was a crime and that “yes” the Spencer issue was part of her case from “day one:”


June 30, 2011, 9:10 am


MR. FISCHER: With respect to the C99 document which we know, even with Mr. Hoffman’s admission, he said that he received one without the handwritten notes, but would have received either with the very first discovery that was disclosed, was there any purpose to that document other than going to the Spencer issue?

MS. FELAND: It only enters for the Spencer issue.

MR. FISCHER: OK. And so, it was clearly a part of the case from day one?



MS. FELAND: Number one, I can look on here and I can readily tell that I know the C99 was on here for that purpose.


In an “after the fact” attempt to cover up a massive set of lies, The State is now claiming that the single, clean, unedited page C99 was intentionally and knowingly placed into their discovery file to “prove” that the Spencer issues were “always” part of the criminal charges in Count I. The reality is, the inclusion of page C99 in The State’s May 10, 2007, discovery transmission was nothing more than a happy accident that The State is now trying to frantically use as proof to confirm that the Spencer issues were crimes from day one or the get-go.” However, these are false statements (lies) which case records and newly revealed documentation at Feland’s Disciplinary Hearing prove are lies. The following is a step-by-step factual analysis which proves that false statements were made to the District Court, Supreme Court, and Supreme Court Disciplinary Board by the State.





The BCI Case Number for the Originally Misapplication case against Blunt is Case Number: 070241 (Agent: S/A Dupree).




In October of 2007 (following the DISMISSAL of the case against Blunt by Judge Wefald), Feland and Quinn sought and received a search warrant for Armstrong’s Journal based on new, never before investigated “additional criminal offenses” alleged by Bjornson and Long.




On October 19, 2007, Judge Hagerty grants a search warrant to Feland and Quinn to gather “a stenographer style spiral bound notebook” which will be property that “constitutes evidence of the commission of a criminal offense;” a criminal offense that will receive a completely new case number for a completely new set of never-investigated allegations and offenses.




On October 19, 2007, Quinn executes the search warrant and under Rule 41 creates a “Search Warrant Receipt and Inventory” record for a “top flight steno book – Mark Armstrong’s desk WSI / Blue/Red cover.”



Of greatest import, though, Quinn also creates a SFN #14937 “EVIDENCE/PROPERTY INVENTORY FORM” to record: the item; the victim, offense, subject, and agent to which the form relates; the date the item was taken into evidence; and, MOST IMPORTANTLY, the agency case number to which the item relates.




While on October 19, 2007, the old case against Blunt had been dismissed for nearly two months, the subject of Quinn’s NEW “additional criminal offenses” on his EVIDENCE/PROPERTY INVENTORY FORM is still Blunt and it is for additional misapplication of funds … criminal offenses” against the victim of the State of North Dakota. Again, of the most import, Quinn assigns a completely NEW case number of 096241 (as compared to the case number of 070241 in the dismissed case) to the newly seized material that “constitutes evidence of the commission of a criminal offense. This new case number is very consistent with Quinn’s testimony --elicited by Feland-- before Judge Hagerty on October 19, 2007, stating that in the process of follow up Quinn came upon “additional criminal offenses that may have occurred.”


And why was Quinn following up? Quinn was following up because at 3:16 pm on October 15, 2007, Feland had directed Quinn to do so following a private, undocumented conversation with Bjornson after Bjornson was deposed by Feland. (A deposition where Bjornson had finally admitted in a third charge against Blunt that it was Bjornson who had given the legal directive to access DOT’s driver’s license photos thereby causing Feland to have to drop the third and final charge against Blunt; leaving no criminal charges against Blunt.) Bjornson was deposed on October 15, 2007, from 1:30 pm to 2:00 pm.




It is known that Bjornson and Feland met after Bjornson’s deposition on October 15, 2007, and that Bjornson alleged the start of the “additional criminal offenses” to Feland because Bjornson admits to such under oath in her July 16, 2009, deposition by Attorney Tom Tuntland in the Long v State civil case (Civil No. 08-C-2354). Bjornson also clearly states that NO the Spencer issues were not part of the initial charges against Blunt because it was Bjornson who first alleged them to Feland on October 15, 2007, and then pointed Feland to Long and Peltz.


 Bjornson’s July 16, 2009 deposition outlines exactly how and when Bjornson’s allegation(s) against Blunt to Feland transpired.


Q (Tuntland). Okay. Now, you eventually got involved in the Sandy Blunt prosecution as a witness; is that correct?

A (Bjornson). Yes.

Q. Do you recall what charges were brought against Sandy and the basis for them?

A. Misapplication of entrusted property, I think a couple of counts of those, and then conspiracy to disclose confidential information, I think, were the bases originally.

Q. Okay. The conspiracy to disclose confidential information, was that the drivers' license photographs?

A. Yes.

Q. Okay. And the misapplication of entrusted property, do you recall the nature of those charges?

A. I believe they were expenditures of the agency on what some may refer to as trinkets and other items. There was a -- part of the charge was -- that were added included sick-leave misuse.

Q. That was Mr. Spencer?

A. Right. And then -- gosh, this wasn't that long ago. There were others too. They just escape me right now.

Q. Okay. Was Mr. Spencer part of the initial charges, do you recall, that sick-leave payment to Mr. Spencer?

A. No.

Q. Okay. Now, you actually were deposed, I believe, two times, were you not --

A. Yes.

Q. -- in the prosecution? And did the -- did any representative of the Burleigh County State's Attorney's Office interview you prior to the depositions?

A. No.

Q. Did any investigators for law enforcement interview you prior to the depositions?

A. No.

Q. Now, following your second deposition, did you have a discussion with Cynthia Feland regarding other potential sources of information on the prosecution of Sandy Blunt? Possible witnesses she could talk to, anything like that?

A. I had a conversation with her, yes, about information I was aware of that may need to be looked into.

Q. Okay.

A. As it relates to Sandy being specifically prosecuted, I brought it to her in that context but not particularly for that reason.

Q. Okay.

A. This is what I know; I feel like there's information behind it that makes it reasonable to look at it further. Yes.

Q. Okay. And was the Dave Spencer sick leave part of what you brought up?

A. Yes.

Q. Okay. And did you tell her that you thought Jim had information regarding that?

A. I believe, yes, Jim and Billi Peltz.

Q. Okay. Did you tell either Jim or Billi that you had told Cynthia Feland that they might have information and that they might be contacted?

A. Yes.

Q. Okay. And in any event, you knew that Jim had sometime in October talked to law enforcement regarding the Dave Spencer issue; is that correct?

A. I don't know what Jim talked to him -- them about, but I'm assuming it would have been that because that's what I had mentioned to Ms. Feland.


The potential “additional criminal offenses” were subsequently investigated by Quinn but there is no record that Quinn ever requested that they be charged against Blunt. Rather, the charges were not brought against Blunt UNTIL almost a year later and only after the Supreme Court had restored the original case against Blunt on June 30, 2008; however, the “additional criminal offenses” were added by Feland (not Quinn) and they were simply noticed to Blunt in a September 23, 2008, response for a Bill of Particulars. Feland mysteriously added the “additional criminal offenses” into the original case number without any evidence or BCI Investigation Reports to support them and without ever advising Blunt that they had all been part of a completely new BCI Agency Case Number assigned by Quinn on October 19, 2007.






Even with all of the above evidence in her possession (again, evidence which was never provided to Blunt), Feland went on to assure Judge Romanick at Blunt’s November 3, 2008, Pretrial Hearing that no new preliminary hearing was required on the newly added “additional criminal offenses” because they had been part of the case from the “get-go.” Feland defended the additional criminal offenses as always being part of her case from day one against Blunt in Count I even though the three additional criminal offenses were new to Blunt and Judge Romanick and even though the Judge raised his concerns regarding the additional criminal offenses with Feland not once, not twice, but FIVE times:


  1. "So is the Motion to Amend the Information adding witnesses?" And, I guess, my concern is, cases go along where witnesses aren't added but they're known from the get-go through discovery. Now this appears to be new information, and are these witnesses going to bring forth new information?
  2. "I don't want that. My concern here is that Mr. Hoffman and Mr. Blunt have been able to prepare adequately for a defense and not that all of a sudden we say, 30 days out, well, here's another 150,000 dollars when the case has been in the mill for a year."
  3. "I want to be perfectly clear. That's my concern is that -- I don't necessarily agree with Mr. Hoffman that every detail has to be done at a preliminary hearing, you know. We may have a disagreement on that point. But I have a problem with bringing up new information when we're a month out from trial, and then the defense hasn't been given any of that beforehand. I'm going, if this wasn't brought out a year ago, why is it being brought up today? And what's going to stop it from two weeks from now more information being brought up or being brought out and, you know, I want to amend the Information. That's my concern."
  4. "Well, I understand that. But you -- when we add Mr. Spencer, Mr. Spencer is the prime person. It seems strange to me that that wasn't done on the front-end knowing here is a part of this crime we're charging, and here's our main witness, and here's why we're going along with it and we're adding it now. That is what concerns me."
  5. "It kind of sums up my concern, Ms. Feland. It's not that it didn't come up in the preliminary, but now we're going to have crimes that really weren't focused on up until August and it's a year later. I mean, I want to know why this is even happening."
  • "What I'm getting at is we are now close to trial. And if this is a theory that's added onto the crime, new evidence, new theory, then they don't have the opportunity, and, you know, two things can happen: I say were going to trial, this information is not coming in. Or I have to give Mr. Hoffman time to assimilate the information, which means continuing matters, which I don't like to do. But, you know, that's where I find myself if this stuff was not part of the case from the get-go."


In a panic to assuage Judge Romanick’s repeated concerns, Feland seizes on the Judge’s get-go ultimatum and hastily contrives the “get goguarantee:


FELAND: “I can tell the Court that the information pertaining to this was part of the original audit that was conducted. The information pertaining to sick leave, the information pertaining to the relocation expense, the information pertaining to grant funds, that was part of the original. There were additional details that I had requested follow up on. Some of those we had immediately prior to the preliminary; some we had after. Those were always part of what we were looking at as far as the case as a whole. … State's position, this was always the case from the get-go.”


Based on Feland’s personal assurances, the new “additional criminal offenses” were added to the case against Blunt without any evidence and without a preliminary hearing. Next, before the ND Supreme Court, Feland continues and builds upon her assurances stating in writing that she had "evidence which had been submitted to Blunt as discovery but not presented at the preliminary hearing" and that "The State was not required to present all of its evidence at the preliminary hearing, and the additional evidence would have only bolstered the determination of probable cause."


Contrary to Blunt's position, evidence of the expenditures for sick leave and relocation do not constitute "additional" charges ... all of the evidence which had been presented at the preliminary hearing and evidence which had been submitted to Blunt as discovery but not presented at the preliminary hearing. ... The State specified that the evidence for count one consisted of the "illegal use of public funds to pay sick leave to a former WSI employee who was not sick; to fail to collect relocation expenses from an employee who quit; to award funds under a grant program that did not exist; and to buy select employees everything from gift certificates to refreshments to inducement. ... Blunt was not entitled to a new preliminary hearing because The State did not amend the information by making him aware of additional evidence, The State was not required to present all of its evidence at the preliminary hearing, and the additional evidence would have only bolstered the determination of probable cause. Thus, the district court did not abuse its discretion by not holding an additional preliminary hearing and Blunt's conviction should be affirmed.” Plaintiff-Appellee Appeal From Order Deferring Imposition of Sentence (July 23, 2009).


For these statements to be true, Feland’s discovery records and Quinn's investigation reports MUST both prove "investigation into" and “presentation of such discovery evidence” to Blunt PRIOR to the August 7, 2007, Preliminary Hearing for every single one of the cited items (the sick leave, the moving expenses, AND the grant). Failure to prove such for EVERY single one of the items would establish that Feland made multiple false and/or artifice statements to a Court in order to deny Blunt of the due process right to a preliminary hearing and all of the evidence of the alleged crimes charged against him. Yet, as all the withheld evidence and the records above now prove, these items were in fact NEVER part of the case from the “get-go.” The final piece of irrefutable proof to support this assertion/conclusion is found in a recently released statement by Quinn to the Bismarck Police Department on November 29, 2010. As part of a criminal investigation by the BPD, Quinn was asked “when did the Burleigh County prosecutor’s office first become aware of, and then subsequently direct him (Quinn) to investigate David Spencer’s sick leave, moving expense and the Firefighters’ grant.” Quinn’s response to this question --as recorded in the case notes of Case Number 1-10-003543-- was “he (Quinn) was first notified by the State’s Attorney’s Office on the date of his report he submitted (3:16 pm on 10-15-07).”





BPD Lt. Randy Ziegler also notes in his case records that “As I looked through the 2006 Performance Audit Report (Attachment B) I could not find mention of the sick leave in question for WSI employee Dave Spencer that included sick leave and moving expenses and I also could not find mention of a Firefighters' Grant. These recommendations or concerns could not be found in the original 2006 performance audit that was conducted by the State Auditor's Office.” Lt. Ziegler then notes that it appears to him that the addition of the new items “was also a concern for Judge Romanick.”




Lt. Ziegler then concludes that, “It would appear from looking at the original audit that these three new items that Feland was charging Blunt with were never part of the original audit, or the original case against Blunt.” An independent, trained, law-enforcement investigator believes --after investigating the issue-- that the three additional items were never part of the original audit or the original case against Blunt. This further corroborates that The State lied that the three items were part of the case from the “get-go” or “day one.”




As to the possibility that the Firefighter’s Grant was in the case from the get-go (a case that was charged against Blunt on April 17, 2007, and based purely on the WSI Audit), Lt. Ziegler’s case notes document that the grant was not signed by Blunt and that when it was signed it was signed while “Blunt was on administrative leave from the original charges filed against him.” Therefore, the “additional criminal offense” of the Grant could NEVER have been part of the case against Blunt from the “get-go” or “day one” (April 17, 2007) if the supposed “crime” did not occur until afterBlunt was on administrative leave from the original charges filed against him.




Further proving that the grant was never part of the original audit and/or the original case against Blunt are case records requested and received by Lt. Ziegler from Wahl through Wahl’s attorney. Lt. Ziegler documents that: “On April 11th, I received a facsimile from Vogel Law Firm. The facsimile indicated that Jason Wahl agreed to answer the questions that I had posed to Ms. Maxon (Wahl’s Attorney) earlier in the week. Question number one had to do with the firefighters grant and, why was this grant not in the published audit? Wahl responded that the audit report was issued in or about November 2006. The firefighter’s grant occurred after the issuance of the report- in or about March 2007.” Question #1 presented by Lt. Ziegler to Wahl was “why was the grant not in the published audit?” to which Wahl responded --IN WRITING-- “the Firefighter’s grant occurred after the issuance of the report …”




An item that 1) was admitted to in writing by WSI’s lead auditor (Wahl) as not being known until more than FOUR months after the audit ended 2) was not signed by Blunt and when it was signed was signed more than FOUR months after Blunt was charged and while Blunt was on leave for the original case against Blunt and 3) was signed one week after the case against Blunt had been DISMISSED against Blunt could have never been part of the case from theget-goorday one.” To state such is a demonstrable lie.


Not only does the evidence prove that NONE of the three “additional criminal offenses” could have been part of the case from the get-go or day one as guaranteed by Feland and The State to the North Dakota District Court, Supreme Court, and Supreme Court Disciplinary Board, but it would have been impossible to have had some (any) of the investigated material related to the three new items “immediately prior to the preliminary (hearing)” or for the items to have always part of what we were looking at as far as the case as a whole since they were neither known nor investigated by the lead or any other investigator until after they were alleged by Bjornson on October 15, 2007 and then assigned a completely new case number (096241). This proves beyond any reasonable doubt that Feland and The State did lie to multiple Courts in multiple hearings/trials in order to wrongfully add the new “additional criminal offenses:” a violation of Blunt’s guaranteed Due Process Rights and a violation of ethical obligations and protocols.


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UNBELIEVEABLE!!!! unless of course you have dealt with the corrupt ND justice system.

Madknuk on February 7, 2012 at 10:08 am
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