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Commissioners To Make Attorney Position Part-time

After deciding not to renew the contract of interim county attorney Janet Christoffersen a few weeks earlier, Roosevelt County Commissioners agreed to change the county attorney position to a part-time position during a meeting on Tuesday, July 17.

Commissioner Robert Toavs made the motion to change the position to part-time and cited MCA 7-4-2706, which reads, “In a county with a population of less than 30,000, the county commissioners may, with the consent of the county attorney, by resolution effective July 1 of any year, establish the office of county attorney as a full-time or part-time position.”

Commissioner Gordon Oelkers said by making the position parttime, it might create more interest from attorneys who work in other counties.

“It opens up our options,” Oelkers said.

Commissioner Gary Macdonald said the intention is to have the position moved back to full time when the next county attorney is elected.

The motion passed by a 3-0 margin. Oelkers said after public notice is given, commissioners will vote on a resolution in a couple of weeks.

During a meeting on June 29, commissioners voted by a 2-0 margin not to extend the contract of Christoffersen as interim county attorney.

Macdonald abstained from voting after hearing comments by staff members from the county attorney’s office in support of Christoffersen. She was appointed as interim attorney during a meeting on Feb. 9 for a four-month period.

Oelkers explained that the working relationship between commissioners and Christoffersen hasn’t been very good. He said there were some “little issues.”

Also during the meeting on July 17, commissioners approved a resolution requesting prosecutorial assistance from the attorney general’s office in a local case. The individual will serve as a special deputy county attorney in the Joseph Dale William Miller case. Miller is facing 10 charges including five felonies.

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