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Published February 05, 2013, 01:28 PM

North Dakota group tries again for investigation of governor

WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) — Dunn County residents seeking a grand jury investigation of Gov. Jack Dalrymple related to campaign contributions from the oil industry submitted a second petition Monday.

WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) — Dunn County residents seeking a grand jury investigation of Gov. Jack Dalrymple related to campaign contributions from the oil industry submitted a second petition Monday.

The case has been assigned to Judge William Herauf — the same judge who dismissed a similar petition late last year because he said it didn't have enough signatures and was filed in the wrong venue. The state Supreme Court last month rejected an appeal, according to a story in Tuesday's Forum newspaper.

The Dunn County petition alleges that oil industry contributions to Dalrymple's gubernatorial campaign could be considered bribery. Dalrymple's campaign called the allegations baseless and politically motivated.

"This has nothing to do with politics. It has to do with what's right. Law enforcement is supposed to prosecute crimes. All we're asking is that law enforcement investigate and, if appropriate, prosecute what we believe is a crime," said Ellen Chaffee, who submitted the petitions Monday.

Organizers needed signatures from 202 residents. Chaffee said they gathered 267 signatures.

Citizen-initiated grand juries are uncommon. A bill in the state House this session would make it harder for citizens to convene a grand jury.

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