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Clay Co. attorney says Minnesota judge is refusing to follow state law


MOORHEAD, Minn. (KFGO-AM) - The chief prosecutor in Clay County is accusing a state district court judge of refusing to follow Minnesota law.

Clay County Attorney Brian Melton says the issue involves drunken driving cases assigned to Judge Steven Cahill. Melton says Cahill has a history of dismissing charges related to Minnesota's "Implied Consent Law", which requires suspected drunk drivers to submit to a blood-alcohol test.

Melton tells KFGO News that Cahill's actions have forced him to consider removing the judge from all similar cases. “We review each case on its merits and look as to whether or not we would strike a judge from that case” Melton said. “Specifically within DWI and within refusal cases, where you have a judge who refuses to follow the law of the state, we’re reviewing each and every one of those cases very closely to determine whether or not Judge Cahill should remain on those cases.”

Melton says the Minnesota Court of Appeals has made it clear that the state's Implied Consent Law is constitutional.

Cahill was recently reprimanded by the state board of judicial standards. The board concluded that in several cases, Cahill issued decisions contrary to state law.