Montana DOJ Closes Mineral County Justice Court Investigation
The Montana Department of Justice (DOJ) announced today that its investigation into allegations of missing funds in Mineral County Justice Court has been completed, and that there is insufficient evidence to file criminal charges. The announcement marks the end of a year-long investigation conducted by DOJ’s Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) at the request of Mineral County Attorney Marcia Boris.
After an extensive investigation by DCI into alleged thefts totaling nearly $9,250, as well as alleged misconduct that took place in Mineral County Justice Court from approximately 2008 – 2011, DOJ Prosecution Services Bureau Chief Brant Light determined criminal charges could not be filed due to lack of sufficient evidence. Light cited the inability to prove who was responsible for the thefts because of the lack of proper accounting and controls in Mineral County’s Justice Court.
Light said, “It is conceivable that more than one person was stealing funds from the court due to the lack of checks and balances in the accounting or management system used by the court. Therefore, there is simply insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a specific individual(s) is responsible for the thefts that occurred.”
As a result, DOJ’s Division of Criminal Investigation will be closing its case. However, DCI will be working with the Mineral County Attorney’s Office and Mineral County Treasurer’s Office, as well as the State Court Administrator to ensure changes are made by the county to ensure proper control and accounting of bond money received with traffic tickets.
Additional allegations of travel voucher violations and campaign violations may be pursued by Mineral County Attorney Marcia Boris at her discretion.