From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 2, Number 9 - May 30, 2002
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Aronson stays on McIntyre case

by Cat Urbigkit

Aronson stays on McIntyre case

An effort to have Sublette County Attorney Dale Aronson removed from his role as prosecutor in a lawsuit involving Martin McIntyre failed Wednesday, May 29. McIntyre, through his Moose Productions, is the organizer and promoter ofthe Wind River Blues Festival, slated for late June.
    Sublette Circuit Court Judge John Crow held a hearing Wednesday afternoon,with Aronson and McIntyre attorney Ken McLaughlin. The purpose of the hearing was to have Crow decide whether Aronson should be disqualified from prosecuting McIntyre for a felony check fraud charge that was filed in March. McLaughlin asked the court to disqualify Aronson after an April 19 altercation between Aronson and McIntyre.
    According to McLaughlin, Aronson entered LaVoie's Brewery at about 10 p.m. and sat down, only to have McIntyre attempt to engage Aronson in a conversation about the lawsuit. Aronson apparently attempted to avoid the conversation and had the waitress bring him a telephone, which he used to call McLaughlin to advise him of McIntyre's behavior. Reportedly, when Aronson was leaving the premises, McIntyre went outside with him. "While the parties were outside, matters escalated into a confrontation, "McLaughlin wrote in his motion to the court. "While the participants disagree as to who said what, both agree that a threat was uttered by one party toward the other". McLaughlin called the confrontation "quite ugly, involving at least one threat of violence." McLaughlin asserted, "Whether Mr. Aronson was the perpetrator or the victim of the threat of violence mentioned above, it seems clear that he must now harbor ill feelings toward the defendant, making it impossible for him to evaluate evidence and make the prosecutorial decisions "with an objective and dispassionate mind."
    McLaughlin was attempting to "bounce the prosecutor," Aronson argued Wednesday, so that a prosecutor that wasnąt prepared to handle the case could be found. Aronson said, "This is a politically-charged season," and it would be easy for him to "run away" and let another prosecutor handle it. Another prosecutor could offer an opportunity for a plea agreement, which Aronson has not. "I'm resisting this," Aronson said, adding that his removal is "being propounded for a bad reason."
    McLaughlin said while Aronson takes offense to McLaughlin's arguments, McLaughlin likewise takes offense with Aronson's assertions those arguments are frivolous. McLaughlin said Aronson was unable to point to a single case "that says I'm wrong." As the arguments concluded, Crow said he wouldn't call Aronson to testify and denied the motion to disqualify Aronson as well. Crow said as long as he's been involved in the justice system, lawyers have always been mad at each other, but no real animosity exists. Crow said this was just a "run of the mill" case and complimented both attorneys for their professional conduct and setting forth their arguments so clearly.
    McIntyre's check fraud case will now proceed before the court, with a hearing in late June.

For complete coverage of Wednesday's hearing, including details of the arguments set forth by McLaughlin and Aronson, as well as how Judge John Crow reacted to those arguments, see next week's Sublette Examiner, set to hit the newstands June 6, 2002.

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