Tracker Pixel for Entry

​Case against TigerSwan stumbles, but to continue

by C.S. Hagen | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | News | May 30th, 2018

Police gather for a photo opp before a roadblock setup by activists, reports differ on who set the debris on fire - photo provided by online sources

BISMARCK– Citing lack of purview, a North Dakota district court judge dismissed a civil case against TigerSwan on Wednesday, but the issue on whether the security giant operated illegally in the state during the Dakota Access Pipeline is far from over.

The North Dakota Private Investigation and Security Board filed a complaint against TigerSwan, its owner, Jim Reese, and other local security companies who collectively were called DAPL Security, in June 2017. District Court Judge John Grinsteiner dismissed one of three counts against the security company last month, and left the matter in the hands of the PISB.

PISB’s attorney, Monte Rogneby, said another motion will be argued in the upcoming weeks, and if that fails, he will appeal the judge’s decision.

“I’m not sure that my feelings about it are relevant, but the board disagrees with the judge otherwise we wouldn’t be going forward with an appeal,” Rogneby said. “The civil case that the board has brought set up in our complaint that TigerSwan and Mister Reese provided private security services in North Dakota without being licensed. That is the sole focus of the litigation and the facts.”

Rogneby has been attempting to file motions for discovery, some of which are still pending.

“Our focus is really on the private and investigative aspect of whatever they were doing,” Rogneby said.

Rogneby, who also is a partner with Vogel Law Firm, which was representing Energy Transfer Partners until recently, has come under fire by some citing a conflict of interest. Rogneby disagreed.

“We didn’t consider it to be a conflict because ETP is not party with anything to do with board,” Rogneby said.

Vogel Law Firm is no longer representing Energy Transfer Partners, he said.

The North Dakota Private Investigation and Security Board, or PISB, is a governor-appointed committee that licenses and regulates private security industries, according to its website.

TigerSwan and PISB have been arguing on whether the case should be decided by the district court, or by the board with an administrative action, Rogneby said.

“The case isn’t over,” Rogneby said. “If ultimately the appeal is not successful, the board will start an administrative action against TigerSwan and Mr. Reese, and it would look a lot like what the action is in the district court just in a different forum.”

The North Dakota Supreme Court doesn’t hear cases during the summer months, so any appeal will have to wait until autumn,” he said.

Documents leaked to media outlet The Intercept and information obtained through the Freedom of Information Act by the High Plains Reader showed TigerSwan worked closely with law enforcement from five different states, and used military-style counterterrorism measures against the movement opposed to the Dakota Access Pipeline.

The PISB’s civil lawsuit confirmed the relationship between law enforcement and TigerSwan.

“TigerSwan provided private security services to Energy Transfer Partners concerning the pipeline, and coordinated with other security providers and local law enforcement in carrying out these activities,” the civil action lawsuit reported.

TigerSwan communications described the movement at Standing Rock as “an ideologically driven insurgency with a strong religious component,” comparing anti-pipeline activists to jihadist fighters, and stating the agency expected a “post-insurgency model after its collapse,” according to the documents.

TigerSwan’s founder, Jim Reese, has continuously maintained his company’s innocence, but the PISB is not finished, Rogneby said.

The final day of the camps - photo by C.S. Hagen

First DAPL activist sentenced to federal prison
Michael “Little Feather” Giron, from the Coastal Band of the Chumash Nation in California, was sentenced to 36 months in a federal prison after a non-cooperating plea agreement on civil disorder charges, becoming the first activist of the more than 800 arrested during the months-long protest to be sentenced so harshly.

“The sentence imposed today reflects the judge’s recognition of the positive changes that Little Feather has made in his life due to his time at Standing Rock,” Little Feather’s attorney Peter Schoenburg said in a press release. “It is an endorsement of all the progress and this new chance he has for a spiritual life in connection with his ancestors and his relatives.”

Little Feather could have been sentenced to 60 months, and has already served 15 months behind bars.

Another activist, Red Fawn Fallis, the woman who pled guilty to civil disorder and possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon, is still waiting on sentencing. 

Recently in:

FARGO – When apple supplies were low last year, Ethan Hennings called out for help. Hundreds, from Moorhead to Bismarck, answered. Sweet Honeycrisps and tart Northern Lights came in by the bushel. SnowSweets, Prairie Magics, and…

It was an, “aha,” moment, said Jeremy Jensen. A woman had her vehicle towed into the Fix It Forward Auto Care shop in Moorhead. Jensen and fellow Fix It Forward Auto Care co-founder Matt Carlson had the vehicle on a hoist…

Sunday, April 29, 9:30 p.m.-howlingThe Aquarium, 226 N Broadway, FargoEscape From The Zoo features Jesse from the band Days N Daze and Chad Hates George. Straight out of Houston, TX . Their sound could be described as, “raw…

In 2016, the Rand Corportation’s National Defense Research Institute published a year-long study looking at potential consequences for transgender members to serve within the U.S Military. This study looked at seven different…

Gadfly

Ask your Congress

by Ed Raymond

There is more work in Congress than just getting re-electedWhile doing our state and federal income taxes last week, I took a break to read the New York Times article, “Congress Doesn’t Seem To Care If Tax Season Is Miserable…

To say that this year’s Bartenders Battle was the best display of talent in the six years since its creation would be an understatement and a disservice to not only the bartenders who made it into the competition, but also the…

By Megan Myrdalmeganmyrdal@gmail.comThroughout your life someone has likely told you to eat your vegetables, but has anyone ever told you to eat more plants? If not, you heard it here -- EAT MORE PLANTS. A diet rich in plant-based…

By Gary Usseryusseryg@gmail.comFYB. Three letters, three words, well known by the guys who make up Cascades, and anyone who is a fan of the five-man band. When asked what genre best describes their sound, I was bombarded with at…

Harmony Korine keeps a tight grip on his title as one of the most critic/critique-proof filmmakers of recent times with “The Beach Bum,” a sultry companion piece to 2012’s memorable “Spring Breakers.” Not without its own…

Arts

​Hold your head high

by Sabrina Hornung

“I started to look around at state arts council positions because I felt that even though I had never done that, I felt like it would be a really good blend of skills, so I started to look around in 2016. A few jobs came up but I…

Countless examples can be found throughout the history of great art that was only recognized as such after the life of the artist that created it. Such is true of Georges Bizet’s opera "Carmen."  While its reception during his…

Stand-up comedy is traditionally a one-way exchange. Outside of the odd question addressed to a random audience member, the limit of the spectators’ contribution to the conversation is their laughter at the comedy stylings being…

By Gabrielle Herschgabbyhersch@gmail.comThink & Drink is coming to Fargo! Organized by Humanities North Dakota, Think & Drink is a happy hour series that hosts a facilitated public conversation about big issues and ideas. Lead by a…

I’m a big man, I’m tall and powerful, but this also causes some issues in the body department. I suffer from acute scoliosis in my lower back, and pain radiates from this area on a daily basis. I have only ever had one massage…

by Devin Joubertdevinlillianjoubert@gmail.comIt’s that beautiful time of the year that’s filled with seasonal decorations, sparkly lights, warm family gatherings, and delicious feasts. I love everything about this time of the…

It seems like the threats to North Dakota’s Badlands never cease. Let’s go back and revisit Wylie Bice. He’s the rogue, rich, rancher up in Dunn County, on the eastern edge of the Badlands, who’s built himself a private…