Posted 12 months ago
By John Axtell
The Sheridan County Commissioners have denied a request by former packing plant owner Rudy “Butch” Stanko to use the courthouse courtroom for a “common law grand jury”…what he called a “convocation” to hear complaints against public officials.
Stanko…long active in Posse Comitatus-Sovereign Citizen type activities…told the commissioners Monday that he preferred the “common law” approach to the petition route in Nebraska law that allows private citizens to force a grand jury to be called.
He explained that a common law grand jury lets those with grievances against officials to gather in secret to formalize their accusations, but the commissioners told him such a process would have no standing in the state judicial system and denied the use of the courtroom…suggesting he find another location.
Stanko also complained to the commissioners that while Sheridan County’s population is in decline, the budget of the County Attorney’s office keeps increasing.
The commissioners encouraged Stanko…and anyone else concerned about any part of the county budget…to take part in the budget preparation process this summer.
Stanko has a lengthy history of tangling with law enforcement and the justice system. He served 6 years in federal prison in the 1980s for selling tainted meat to the federal school lunch program and was given another 6 years in 2006 for being a felon in posssesion of firearms.
Stanko has said he is an ordained minister in the Church of the Creator, a white supremacist organization, and successfully challenged Montana’s “reasonable and prudent” traffic speed law in the late 1990′ss, leading state lawmakers to bring back numerical speed limits on Montana highways.