Elko Daily Free Press
|Pete Morros, director of the Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Friday threatened to sue Elko County and the Elko County Grand Jury unless the grand jury withdraws a presentment claiming criminal acts by state and federal officials and apologizes to the officials named in the report.|
|In the first statement since the
Feb. 13 grand jury report claiming officials illegally
used their offices to force Independence Mining Co. to
pay $500,000 in mule deer habitat mitigation, Morros said
Elko County is on a "witch hunt."
"In the absence of a withdrawal of this presentment and an apology to the affected employees of this department, the state will have no choice but to seek judicial relief from this illegal act by Elko County,
Morros says in a written statement delivered before the Advisory Board of Natural Resources meeting in Reno. "What we do not accept is the intentional malicious and criminally abusive behavior of the grand jury in falsely accusing and slandering field and line personnel in our agency in the interests of pursuing their `home rule' witch hunt."
Morros said the grand jury was stacked and the report is part of a ploy by county officials to control public lands in a continuing "Sagebrush Rebellion."
Morros said his employees are above reproach and his only criticism is that they let IMC "off the hook'' and should have sought $1.5 million in mitigation fees instead.
Until now, Morros said, "I have
kept my powder dry.''
But he said he's angry the grand jury said state and
federal officials were guilty of the crime of oppression
under the color of office, a gross misdemeanor.
anyone who questions
their modus operandi.
There was disagreement
on the amount of money and the formula for setting the
fee, he said, adding that happens in any negotiation.
§ § §
Want to share your opinion? Electric Nevada's comment page is open!
Back to Electric Nevada's Front Page