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Thursday, November 10, 2011

STEVE CATES: ETHICS COMPLAINT RESPONSE - RIHA, SUHR, AND FELAND - TELL….LIES?

In my complaint(s) of April 2010 to the North Dakota Supreme Court Disciplinary Board (Disciplinary Board) regarding Richard Riha, Lloyd Suhr, and Cynthia Feland, all of the Burleigh County State’s Attorney’s Office (BCSAO) it was asserted by me as complaint item #6 regarding participation of the North Dakota State Auditor’s Office (NDSAO) in the investigation and prosecution of Mr. Blunt that:

“….BCSAO to withhold from Charles Blunt and his defense attorney multiple prosecution witness statements which were requested in writing by defense attorney Michael Hoffman.

………

There is irrefutable evidence of NDSAO auditor Jason Wahl’s EXTENSIVE involvement in Blunt’s case, yet no statements by Wahl who was the primary prosecution witness have ever been provided by BCSAO for Mr. Blunt’s defense even though repeatedly requested in writing by defense attorney Hoffman.”           

In the Special Agent (S/A) Michael Quinn’s authored his report of an official investigation. He provided that report BCSAO in which he writes of interviewing Mr. Jason Wahl on November 8, 2007 (the very same day that the “Wahl Memo” was created by Auditor Wahl):

“At 1:35 p.m., S/A Quinn spoke telephonically with Wahl of the North Dakota State Auditor's office. The purpose of the phone call was to discuss moving expenses that had been paid to Spencer when Spencer was initially hired by WSI. Wahl stated that if Spencer resigned, Spencer would have to pay back the moving expenses, but if Spencer had been forced out or fired, that Spencer would not have to pay back the expenses. Wahl stated that moving expenses were a "grey area" and that Wahl was not sure if non payment would violate a state statute. Wahl stated that Wahl had never really seen this issue before, so is not clear on the legality of it. Wahl stated that since Spencer's resignation was non voluntary, that Wahl felt it was a "non issue" for the auditor's office.”

Given the evidence provided by S/A Quinn concerning Wahl’s determination of Spencer’s separation circumstances (above), the statement in Mr. Riha, Mr. Suhr, and Ms. Feland’s response to my complaint(s) item #6 is particularly curious:

“Concerning the allegation that the prosecution did not provide statements from Mr. Wahl, no “statements” from Mr. Wahl were taken therefore there is nothing to disclose. Mr. Wahl’s involvement in the case is exclusively by virtue of the audit he led, and was thoroughly documented in the audit report, working papers, and related materials stemming from the audit. Those materials were disclosed and accordingly, Mr. Cates’s allegations to this effect is inaccurate. In short, he complains of a failure to disclose statement which never existed.”

I would submit for your consideration that this response statement is a LIE. I would suggest as well that the Mr. Riha, Mr. Suhr, and Ms. Feland knew/know full well that the statement is a LIE. This response letter/document was submitted to the Inquiry Committee West and signed by Richard Riha, Lloyd Suhr and Cynthia Feland.

If BCSAO had the S/A Quinn reports in her possession and had provided them to Mr. Blunt (as has been claimed in numerous motions, arguments, multiple times by Ms. Feland during her Disciplinary Board hearing, and documents before The Court subsequent to my complaint), why in the world the prosecutors (Riha, Suhr, and Ms. Feland) explicitly state that “he complains of a failure to disclose statement which never existed”?

There is only one possible answer to this question….. Riha, Suhr, and Ms. Feland absolutely knew that they had NEVER given the November 2007 BCI Quinn Reports to Mr. Blunt!

The Disciplinary Board Panel who adjudicated the disciplinary trial of Cynthia Feland, in their November 1, 2011 FINDINGS OF FACT, CONCLUSIONS OF LAW AND RECOMMENDATION FOR SUSPENSION stated under the heading of “FINDINGS OF FACT” stated that:

12. The investigative reports that were not provided to Hoffman included reports from BCI Agent Quinn that were obtained by the State during the time when the criminal case was on appeal from the trial court's dismissal. Included in those documents was a report that Agent Quinn spoke with Auditor Wahl, and Wahl basically repeated the same language that is in the Wahl memo to Feland of November 8, 2007.”

 

This is not merely a breach of North Dakota Lawyer Ethics rules but likely the breaking of law:

12.1-11-02. False statements.

 

1.      A person is guilty of a class A misdemeanor if, in an official proceeding, he makes a false statement, whether or not material, under oath or equivalent affirmation, or swears or affirms the truth of such a statement previously made, if he does not believe the statement to be true.

 

2.      A person is guilty of a class A misdemeanor if, in a governmental matter, he:

 

a.       Makes a false written statement, when the statement is material and he does not believe it to be true;

b.      Intentionally creates a false impression in a written application for a pecuniary or other benefit, by omitting information necessary to prevent a material statement therein from being misleading;

c.       Submits or invites reliance on any material writing which he knows to be forged, altered, or otherwise lacking in authenticity;

d.      Submits or invites reliance on any sample, specimen, map, boundarymark, or other object which he knows to be false in a material respect; or

e.       Uses a trick, scheme, or device which he knows to be misleading in a material respect.

 

3.      This section does not apply to information given during the course of an investigation into possible commission of an offense unless the information is given in an official proceeding or the declarant is otherwise under a legal duty to give the information. Inapplicability under this subsection is a defense.

 

4.      A matter is a "governmental matter" if it is within the jurisdiction of a government office or agency, or of an office, agency, or other establishment in the legislative or the judicial branch of government.

 

 

12. The investigative reports that were not provided to Hoffman included reports from
BCI Agent Quinn that were obtained by the State during the time when the criminal case
was on appeal from the trial court's dismissal. Included in those documents was a
report that Agent Quinn spoke with Auditor Wahl, and Wahl basically repeated the same
language that is in the Wahl memo to Feland of November 8, 2007.

JIM’S TRUCKS

 

 

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