Piocos Objects To Motion To Dismiss
Frank Piocos and his attorney, Phillip J. DeFelice, have filed a petition of objection to the county’s motion to dismiss Piocos’ lawsuit. The suit seeks declaratory relief and claims the county didn’t have authority to remove Piocos from office.
The petition claims that the county’s motion to dismiss fails to addresses the legal mechanism or even address whether Piocos’ salary should have been withheld. “Respondents simply throw legal mud and hope something sticks.”
DeFelice writes that district court did not issue a removal or ouster order. District court also didn’t declare the position vacant. “Such egregious behavior should not be tolerated or permitted under Montana law. This case, as well as the Christoffersen case, raises important public policy concerns related to local government. It also raises an important issue on fair and honest county government. County attorneys act as a check and balance to the county commissioners. As such, county commissioners should not be allowed to remove a county attorney at will so they can replace them with a toadie or a sycophant. County commissioners simply appoint a county attorney when there is an actual vacancy.” DeFelice continued, “In this case, there was no legal mechanism for the respondents to remove petitioner from office on Feb. 3, 2003. In addition, neither the district court nor the Montana Supreme Court gave the Respondents’ authority to remove petitioner. As such, the issues raised by petitioner are not moot.”