Push Comes to Shove in Valley County: Commissioners Warn McCall Not to Use Prosecutor

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The tension between Valley County commissioners and Valley County Prosecutor Matt Williams is getting worse. Williams is saying that he was illegally fired by the county (even though his position is an elected one), and he filed a $120,000 lawsuit against the county commission. The commissioners, who said that Williams' termination was "legal and justifiable," are now warning the City of McCall to immediately terminate its contract with Williams or face a possible lawsuit.

This morning's McCall Star-News reports that Valley County commissioners warned the McCall City Council that they never gave their permission for Williams to prosecute the city's court cases, a violation of state law. But Williams has been prosecuting cases for McCall since 2007.

Williams told the Star-News that his contract with the City of McCall was through his private practice, "and certainly not me in my official capacity as the Valley County prosecuting attorney."

McCall city councillors met in closed session and ordered their city attorney to respond to the county commissioners' threat, but the contents of the response have not been made public.

Earlier this year, a rift developed between Williams and Valley County Sheriff Patti Bolen. An independent investigation was launched after McCall Police Chief Jerry Summers recommended charges against Bolen for resisting and obstructing officers for failing to book a suspect in connection with an October arson at a Cascade school. The Canyon County Prosecutor's Office decided not to file any criminal charges after looking into the complaint.

"I would have charged them months ago," said Williams. "I am a more aggressive prosecutor than a lot of other county prosecutors."

Williams has decided not to run for re-election in November.

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