Support for prosecuting attorney

EDITOR:

This letter is a response to Ms. Rye, and other individuals who have recently submitted letters speaking negatively about our prosecuting attorney. I do not know if Prosecutor Strom made the correct decision in the highly publicized Rapid River case. However, admitting this is the point I’d like to make. I didn’t read each investigative report. I didn’t attend the entirety of the trial. I’m not educated on the strict guidelines that manage a long-term reunification process. I also don’t fully understand the responsibilities that a prosecutor undertakes to represent the state Department of Human Services. I think very few people have all of the information needed to make an informed decision on these types of cases. The fact that two of the most intelligent people I know in Prosecutor Strom and Judge Goebel had differing opinions tells me that the case was more complicated than it may have appeared in the media.

I do however respect Prosecutor Strom for reviewing the case and taking the course of action that he felt was right. This was despite understanding the negative publicity that comes with anything other than the strictest possible punishment on these types of cases. I feel it is this point that makes Ms. Rye’s criticism off-base. Implying that he is only interested in photo-ops and positive publicity while criticizing his decision in this case is a complete contradiction. I also think the introduction of a Child Advocacy Center in Delta County is something we should celebrate, not use to attack one of its main organizers. The highly regarded child advocacy program model can be read about online and I encourage the public to do so.

The work Prosecutor Strom has done on initiating this program is not surprising because he consistently advocates for status-quo changing ideas. He works tirelessly to help our most vulnerable populations and improve our justice system’s impact. He has used grant funding to successfully enhance our victim services program, and established a program to reduce child truancy in schools. He has worked closely with district court on its drug court, and helped establish a task force against substance abuse. I also personally appreciate the voluntary and unpaid legal work that he does to assist the Delta County Board of Commissioners. This is not a requirement of his office, but his willingness to do so allows us to spend our tax dollars in ways that more directly benefit residents.

Prosecutor Strom is a great representative for Delta County and we’re lucky to have him. I am confident that the County Board of Commissioners, the county clerk, the sheriff, and many other local law enforcement officers would give you the same opinion. I would encourage the public to consider all of the positive things that the prosecutor’s office works on when reading individual critiques related to one specific case; especially when it’s a case where very few people (including myself) have all of the information.

Ryan Bergman

Delta County administrator