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The Pondera County Commissioners appointed Teton County Attorney Joe Coble and Deputy County Attorney Jennifer Stutz as Special Deputy Pondera County Attorneys for FY 2020-21. The action came at the Commissioners July 15 meeting.

According to the draft minutes of the meeting, the Commissioners approved Resolution #2-2020/21 authorizing prosecutorial assistance for the Pondera County Attorney’s office in upcoming District and Justice Court cases. 

County Attorney Mary Ann Ries will be stepping down and recently appointed Pondera County Attorney Rosanne Balasabas will take office on Sept. 1, 2020. She will spend a few weeks working under Ries as Deputy County Attorney before taking over. According to the resolution, since Balasabas has “limited prosecutorial experience” Coble and Stutz will provide assistance as needed to “prosecute necessary cases pending in the Ninth Judicial District Court, Pondera County, and the Pondera County Justice Court.”

Under the terms of the agreement with the Teton County Attorney’s office, no fee will be charged for attorney time provided by Coble, however, mileage shall be paid to both Coble and Stutz for any travel expenses incurred during the prosecution of any matters at the current rate of $0.575 per mile. Witness fees and expenses, jury costs, and other normal costs associated with the prosecution will be the county’s responsibility as with all other prosecutions.

Earlier this month at their July 8 meeting, the Commissioners:

•Approved Resolution #1-2020/21 to loan to funds having negative cash balances at fiscal year-end. Three County Funds–Predatory Animal ($1,219.63); COVID-19 Mental Health Grant ($489.45); and Women, Infants and Children Grant ($1,377.96) had negative cash balances as of June 30, 2020 due to the nature of the funds as reimbursable grant funds. The resolution allows for the funds to repay the loan and interest at 0% per annum to the general fund from anticipated revenue to be received in July 2020.

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