Steve Grasty, an administrative judge in Harney County, said in a community meeting that he proposes to bill the armed militia as much as $75,000 per day.
“It seems fair to me if you’re going to put that cost on this little tiny community...we’re broke!” Grasty said on Monday night, explaining that theirs is a tiny community and the added expenses of increased security, salaries of teachers and employees who haven’t been going to work, and extra supplies for county workers, have contributed to this astronomical amount.
County Judge Steve Grasty says he intends to bill Ammon Bundy for $60k to $75k in daily county costs due to occupation.— Les Zaitz (@LesZaitz) January 12, 2016
The frustrated county judge said that the bills will serve to remind the community of the added burdens of illegal occupation by the Bundy family.
The anti-militia judge has also warned the citizens of Oregon against supporting the group and not to bring them food and supplies that can help prolong their stay at the federal bird sanctuary.
Grasty said that he is looking for ways to pursue civil action against the Bundys to force them to pay for the cost they're incurring.
“There is justification in sending them a bill if for no other reason than letting everyone know what this is costing taxpayers.”
The armed militia created additional costs for the federal government on Monday when they destroyed a 25- to 30-yard fence, with stolen tools, designed to keep away cattle of local ranches from federal land.
The Fish and Wildlife Service issued a statement denouncing the militia for its vandalism.
"In the century of [the] Malheur National Wildlife Refuge's existence, enormous effort has been displayed by partners, surrounding communities, ranchers and landowners to restore a devastated landscape," the statement reads. "Removing fences, damaging any refuge property, or unauthorized use of equipment would be additional unlawful actions by the illegal occupiers. Any movement of cattle onto the refuge or other activities that are not specifically authorized by [the Fish and Wildlife Service] constitutes trespassing.”
Harney County Sheriff Dave Ward also spoke at Monday night’s meeting that the Bundys might continue to break further rules but their time is running out.
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