Missoula Co. Attorney files suit against U.S. Dept. of Justice


MISSOULA, Mont. - The Missoula County Attorney is marching forward with a suit against the U.S. Department of Justice.

Fred Van Valkenburg filed an action in the U.S. District Court Tuesday. It comes after close to two years of a stand off between Van Valkenburg and the DOJ.

The DOJ was investigating the way the Missoula County Attorney's Office, Missoula Police Department and University of Montana handled sexual assault cases. The police and university reached agreements with the DOJ last year, while Van Valkenburg's office remained in a stand off.

Van Valkenburg maintains the DOJ doesn't have the legal authority to investigate his office. Now he's asking a judge to decide.

"We've had an ongoing dispute with the DOJ for close to two years," Van Valkenburg said. "It isn't going to be resolved without having some action by a judge. It's time to kind of take that step."

Van Valkenburg believes it will take about a month for the DOJ to answer to the complaint. He said there will likely be briefing before the judge. He's hopeful to have an answer from the court withing two to three months.

Click here to read the full Complaint for Declaratory Judgement.