WA – Stevens County – Tim Rasmussen and Sheriff Kendle Allen

The dozen or so ‘protesters’ who presented a ‘criminal complaint’ to prosecuting Attorney Tim Rasmussen have given Rasmussen until September 26th to file a criminal complaint or explain why he has not.

On February 24, 2014, in an open public meeting in the Stevens County Commissioner’s office, you stated: “In many ways my judgment functions as a grand jury. In the state of Washington, a grand jury – the functions of a grand jury are vested in the prosecuting attorney. I have the power and the responsibility, and I am the only one in this county who has that power vested in me by the election of the people to bring a criminal charge against someone.”

[NBC: That is correct, the decision as to whether or not to file an information or indictment lies with the prosecuting attorney and he is under no obligation to follow the advise of a group of citizens.]

You have known of Kendle Allen’s usurpation of the office of STEVENS COUNTY SHERIFF for long enough to have investigated and filed criminal charges of your own accord. Yet, you have not. So, the people, of necessity, bring forth evidence to supports to filing of criminal charges against Kendle Allen for violating state law. You, sir, claimed the exclusive authority to bring criminal charges. Is it not your duty then to act upon the people’s 1st Amendment Criminal Complaint?

[NBC: Why do they assume that Rasmussen has not investigated the issue and concluded that there is no foundation for criminal charges? While you may believe that Sheriff Allen is usurping the office, such beliefs have no legal relevance, and in fact, under WA law, Sheriff Allen is at worst a de-facto officer and any challenge to his office has to follow a Quo Warranto proceeding.]

The people now call upon you to perform the duties for which you are being paid. The people expect action or an answer as to why you will not criminally charge Kendle Allen according to the people’s 1st Amendment Criminal Complaint submitted under this cover.

[NBC: The prosecutor is not being paid to answer the demands of a group of citizens, although he may do so freely.]

You have been very vocal about not liking timelines, however the people’s patience is wearing thin, their trust in you is faltering and there can be no higher priority that to hold those public servants accountable to the law they swore an Oath to uphold. The people want and deserve an answer on your course of action delivered to them by close of business Friday, Sept. 24 2014. If you need more time, you must explain why. Please respond in writing to: The People, P.O. Box 448, Chewelah, [99109] Washington state.

Source: Press Copy Complaint 09/18/2014

I do not expect Tim Rasmussen to respond to these ‘demands’, as he explained his position quite eloquently

I recently received a communiqué from a group who call themselves, “We the People.” It was a DEMAND that I answer 75 carefully worded questions within three days. All elected officials and I have received other demands and deadlines from this group, usually that we vacate our offices because we are not legally in office or some other such nonsense.

Concluding

In your zeal to remove, replace, or control county officials, be careful not to infringe on the rights of other individuals or of the public. You may not believe the RCWs apply to you, but I believe they do. My advice is plain. Keep the peace. Do not threaten or harm or interfere with another person. Be a good neighbor. Don’t drink and drive. Pay your fair share of taxes. Get a drivers license. Treat others, as you would like to be treated.

Hear hear… As to the concept of a ‘first amendment criminal complaint’ let me point out that while the 1st amendment protects the right of the people to petition the government for redress of grievances, it does not create a right to have said government respond to such a petition. The Supreme Court has been clear on that:

“Nothing in the First Amendment or in this Court’s case law interpreting it suggests that the rights to speak, associate, and petition require government policymakers to listen or respond to communications of members of the public on public issues.”

 

Source: Minnesota State Bd. for Community Colleges v. Knight, 465 US 271 – Supreme Court 1984