Nevada A.G. 'Legal Opinion'
Censures Elko Grand Jury
Elko Daily Free Press
|A Nevada Attorney General's opinion released Friday absolves state wildlife employees of all wrongdoing associated with an Elko County Grand Jury presentment and suggests the grand jury committed the crime instead.|
|"The grand jury's actions
amount to an attempt to convert its view of desirable
public land policies, which are at odds with state and
federal law, into a criminal indictment against state
officials," states the 14-page opinion written by
Deputy AG Wayne Howell.
"By invoking the criminal justice process for such improper purpose, the grand jury risks not only infringement on the powers of the legislative and executive branches of state government, it furthermore verges on committing the very crime of which it wrongly accuses others."
Howell's opinion was requested by Pete Morros, head of the state's Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, who oversees the Nevada Division of Wildlife.
NDOW Director Willie Molini and three NDOW employees were accused by the grand jury in a Feb. 13 report of committing the crime of oppression under color of office in the mule deer mitigation involving Independence Mining Corp.
The grand jury report, which also indicated the crimes were unprosecutable because the two-year statute of limitations had expired, said Molini and his employees illegally held up IMC's permit to expand and forced the company to pay
improving habitat for a displaced deer herd.
of a regulated entity
to the requirements imposed by law. Government regulation
does not depend upon a voluntary contract, as the grand
jury's peculiar reference to IMC's disparate bargaining
power would infer," the opinion states. And in a
footnote, Howell writes, "Even where agency action
is arbitrary, civil remedies exist for redress."
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