County to reconsider prosecution of tribal members' felony cases
The Lake County Commissioners are considering backing out of a decades-old agreement that has allowed the state to prosecute Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes members’ felony crimes through Lake County District Court.
Lake County Commissioner Gale Decker said in an interview that the commissioners will likely put forth a resolution later this summer that will propose removing the county from an agreement that allows state prosecutors to handle felony cases for tribal members. The County Commissioner’s weekly schedule was posted Monday and included that the commissioners intended to visit the tribal complex on Wednesday before they considered rescinding the agreement later that afternoon.
“The issue we are having is that right now, most, around 60 percent of our felonies are the tribal folks,” Decker said. “All those costs fall upon the county and our best guess is that it is between $2 million and $2.5 million per year. We just can’t afford it anymore ... We pay for mental health medications, we pay for transporting them to Warm Springs. There’s a lot of costs associated with it.”