Monday, October 13, 2014

Owner of Requests an Opinion from ND Attorney General Stenehjem is requesting an opinion from ND Attorney General Stenehjem regarding Foster County Commission Chairman Paul Straley's behavior. Is Straley violating Foster County citizens' 1st Amendment rights by not allowing them to speak at the public commission meetings?

This video contains clips from the Foster County Commissioners meeting which took place on October 7, 2014, showing that Straley refused to allow several citizens to speak at the meeting.

When State's Attorney Paul Murphy suggested that Straley should give citizens time to speak, Straley retaliated verbally and referred to the "general public" in a rather insulting if they were beneath him.

In fact, Chairman Straley would not allow Hope Carr to continue with her report about the "missing" Game & Fish funds, even though both Commissioners Carr and Greger motioned that she be allowed to speak.

By his actions and his speech, it is obvious that Chairman Straley has no respect for the Foster County State's Attorney, the other commissioners, the citizens of Foster County, or the Constitution of the United States.

So, Attorney General Stenehjem, what does a county do with a dictatorial government official such as this?


Judith Lee Helton Keller
511 1st Street North
Carrington, ND 58421

Wayne Stenehjem
North Dakota Attorney General
State Capitol, Dept. 125
600 E. Boulevard Ave.
Bismarck, ND 58505

Re:  Denial of Equal Access to Public County Commission Meetings
        Foster County, North Dakota

Dear Sir:

                I am a resident of Carrington, North Dakota in the county of Foster.  I own and manage a web site called with an affiliated site on Facebook.  I have over 1,500 subscribers, many of whom would like to have your opinion regarding Foster County Commission Chairman Paul Straley's denial of equal access to the Foster County Commission meetings.


·         Does a commission chairman have the right to deny citizens (with county business concerns) the right to be on the commission agenda without giving a reason for denial? 

·         Does a commission chairman have the right to refuse to hear a citizen (with county business concerns) if the other commissioners have moved to allow that person to speak during a public meeting?

·         Can a commission chairman pick and choose which citizens can address, question and speak before commission meetings, based upon his own political agenda?  In other words, can he allow some to speak and not allow others to speak - ones whom he knows disagree with him or question his opinions/statements/actions?
                If you need to see examples of Chairman Straley's actions, DakTel has unedited copies of all Foster County Commissioners Meetings which they have recorded and televised.  I can provide those to you, or, you can go to my blog at the following address which has pertinent video clips of Straley's actions/words:

                I would truly appreciate a reply to my concerns and the concerns of many other county residents.  We would like to have equal access to the county meetings, but as it is, Chairman Straley continues to deny us our rights.


Judith Lee Helton Keller

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