Activists Accusing Governor Dalrymple Of Taking Bribes File Second Grand Jury Petition


A group of activists, pushing a case for bribery charges made by a Democrat lawyer out of Grand Forks, have filed another grand jury petition in Dunn County. Under North Dakota law, citizens can empanel a grand jury to investigate criminal charges by filing a certain number of signatures based on the population of the county where they’re bringing the charges.

A previous iteration of this petition was thrown out of court by a judge who found many of the signatures to be invalid and who also ruled that petitioners had filed charges in the wrong county since Governor Dalrymple lives in Burleigh County and his campaign committee, which allegedly took the bribes, is headquartered there as well.

Look for this latest petition to be dismissed on similar grounds.

In related news, HB1451 introduced by Rep. Jim Kasper would make this process a bit more arduous. The bill would increase the signature requirement to 25% of a county’s population according to the last federal census, and it would also require that the petitions be filed in the county where the defendant lives.

These seem like common sense reforms that would stop this sort of abuse of the petitioning process from happening in the future.

Rob Port is the editor of In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

Related posts

  • PK

    Rob, you should do a report on this if you already haven’t. Campaign contributions can be considered a bribe if the receiver of the money uses his political position to implement the agreed upon deal with the donor. Is it just a coincidence that 37,000 acres of land were unitized and the lease holder’s of the mineral rights contributed over $80,000 to Dalrymple’s campaign? Is Dalrymple and the NDIC working for the best interest of the people of North Dakota or for the best interest of the big oil companies that want a monopoly over our oil?

    • Rob

      What you’re talking about is anti-free speech.

      Let’s put it this way: Say I donate some money to a candidate for governor or the legislature because, when I asked them, they said they would work to cut my taxes. And, after they get elected, they cut my taxes.

      Did I just bribe that candidate, or is it democracy?

      If you want to hold Dalrymple’s oil industry money against him, then fine. It’s all disclosed. You can see who is giving him the money and figure out why, and you can base your votes on that. Vote for someone else.

      But calling that bribery is ridiculous.

      • PK

        Comparing lowering taxes for everyone, with doing favors for a small group of special interests for tens of thousands of dollars in return is ridiculous. I pretty well knew what your response was going to be, since you didn’t have any details about the issue. You’ll spend days exposing small level corruption, but won’t touch anything that would ruffle the feathers of the establishment. I’m sick of the corruption and special interests buying off our politicians that has lead to the bankrupt situation that we’re in today, but that’s probably ridiculous too.

        • Rob

          I’m well versed about the charges being made against Dalrymple. I was aware of it back when it was just a PDF being sent around by a Grand Forks lawyer.

          I just don’t find the accusations to be credible. Sorry if you think that makes me part of some conspiracy.

          • PK

            I never said you’re part of a conspiracy. There is no conspiracy, it’s all out in the open. Both parties work for special interests and Joe Taxpayer gets screwed, and the media goes along with it all. As an investigative journalist, your personal opinion shouldn’t get in the way of honest reporting, or reporting on certain issues at all, but it’s your forum.

          • Geoff Bosse

            Hey rob, you are pretty well versed about NDSU football as well. Did you know Brantly and Amechi were kicke off the football team for team violations. Two, highly recruited studs for SU, but no report on that. Just wondering when we will see the article

      • WOOF

        If by some chance only your taxes were cut, then you two might have some splaining to do .

        • Drain52

          This is an excellent point. When a politician or regulator who sits in judgement over a given business gets a bargeload of money from that business, and then rules in its favor, there is the stink of corruption there. Whereas Taxpayer Smith, giving to his favorite candidate who he hopes will lower taxes, does not have the expectation that his taxes alone will be dropped.

    • Roy_Bean

      We all vote for people who we think will best represent our interests. Who was harmed by this jumbo sized unit?

      • PK

        In ten years, ask the people that own that land, that was unitized into a huge section, how good of a decision it was. I wonder what their opinion was on this. That’s why i suggested Rob to do a report. And i get attacked for being ridiculous.

    • PK

      NDCC 12.1-12-01.

      Campaign contributions can be considered bribery. It’s not ridiculous.

  • curious

    Here is a Wikipdeia article about bribery
    It’s kind of hard to find a clear cut definition of bribery. Curious how you would define bribery?

  • borborygmi

    Have the petitioners pay court costs for both sides if they lose. That should stop most.

  • rocketjake

    I have absolutely no problem with this effort at all. I don’t think anything needs to change via Kasper’s bill. He’s only there to protect the machine. This is corruption plain and simple and it’s right out in the open. I don’t care who filed it as there are conservatives behind it as well, not just some Dem lawyer. Kasper should be run out of office for this bill, especially if it were to pass. It’s high time the corrupt good ole boys network, primarily based in Rob’s town of Minot – better known as the Minot Mafia were brought down. Yet Rob makes excuses for them in this piece. Very disappointing.

  • camsaure

    Are the dumocrats in this state that stupid that they cannot see that they alreadfy have a dumocrat for Gov with Dullrumple? The only thing Republican about him is the R after his name. He sure as hell does not act like a Republican as do many other progressive/liberals who ran as Republicans in this state.

  • Paul Sorum

    Rob, it
    is clear that the Minot Mafia is threatening you and your family. You
    have admitted previously that you have not even read the Dunn County petition.
    If you had, you would realize there is a big problem here. If nothing else, you should admit that our court system in ND is badly broken. As result of the influence peddling by the Governor and ex-Governor, those in high office in ND are above the law and unaccountable. The rest of us are powerless to stop these crooks. Anyone active in ND politics, left or right, is well aware of the blatant lawlessness and corruption in ND government, especially the corruption of those in the executive branch. Your
    credibility is in the toilet Rob. Get a backbone and stand up to these thugs.
    But don’t ever tell me that Dalrymple is not corrupt when just last summer you told me the opposite on numerous occasions.

    • PK

      Having good people like you run for high office is a losing battle if we don’t have a media that’s honest. Thanks for your effort.

  • I don’t know

    My opinion is evolving. I first thought this was frivolous and politically motivated by a group with an axe to grind. But now as I’ve learned more about it and become more aware of Governor Dalrymple’s governing style I guess I don’t see a problem with convening a grand jury.
    A grand jury’s purpose is to evaluate evidence and decide whether evidence is strong enough to warrant a trial. A trial is the mechanism that decides guilt or innocence. If not enough evidence exists or the evidence is bad or the petitioners claims are frivolous then it doesn’t proceed to a trial. I guess I don’t see any harm in giving the evidence greater scrutiny.
    I am unsure about a few things. Did the Governor use his public office in essence to help oil companies steal large amounts of private land from land owners in return for large campaign contributions? Were the campaign contributions specifically made for the purpose of the oil companies obtaining the outcomes they desired in relation to the specific business that was before the Industrial Commission with the intended purpose of influencing the Governor’s specific decisions and were promises made such as if you give me this money I will vote this way on this specific business item? Or was it general contributions in support of a candidate they agree with more, not expecting the donations to impact the Governor’s specific decisions before the Industrial Commission related to specific business items?
    I don’t have a problem with the companies supporting candidates financially whom they feel agree more with their philosophies and general interests. But I do have a problem if companies give money to a public official in return for a favorable specific business item outcome with the expectation that if the money is given the favorable result will occur and if not an unfavorable decision will occur. What troubles me is the timing of the campaign donations along with their amounts and the Industrial Commission actions.

  • Lynn Bergman

    I am ambivalent to this particular case, but believe 25% of the population to be extremely excessive; Kasper’s bill is ingenuous (“ass-kissing those in authority” for those in Rio Linda) unless it is changed to propose elimination of the grand jury possiblity.
    THAT seems a little “radical” to me?