Editorial: Special favors for Native hunters
"The Point Hope residents charged in the infamous mass killing of caribou are of course innocent until proven guilty. They are entitled to mount a vigorous defense in court. But it is perplexing to see how the North Slope Borough can justify using public money on lawyers for the Point Hope defendants. Under the Alaska Constitution, public money must be spent for a "public purpose." What is the public purpose in spending public money this way?

The Borough does not routinely pay legal expenses for residents charged with crimes. The defendants were not conducting official business for the borough.

Helping with their legal fees looks suspiciously like special treatment for a favored group of defendants, perhaps driven by political pressure from supporters in their home community.

It's as if Anchorage city government said, "Hey, Ted Stevens has done a lot for our city. Let's reach into the city treasury to help him meet all those huge legal bills." "

Get the Story:
Our view: Caribou case (The Anchorage Daily News 8/10)

Related Stories:
Village hunters receive public funds for defense (8/5)
Eight charged with slaughter of caribou in Alaska (3/17)
Opinion: Wasteful hunting shocks Alaskans (8/12)
Native village wants to handle caribou waste case (8/6)
More than 60 caribou carcasses discarded in Alaska (7/30)

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