Today is the deadline Clatsop County District Attorney Josh Marquis gave the city of Astoria to hand over its prosecution of cases involving people charged with driving under the influence of intoxicants.

But the city hasn’t budged, and has no plans to do so in the near future, according to Mayor Willis Van Dusen.

And so, Astoria is moving on with a business-as-usual pace.

“There are no plans to make any changes in the runnings and procedures of Astoria Municipal Court, particularly with the DUII cases,” Van Dusen said.

But Marquis said there are consequences involved with the city’s decision to hold on to the cases.

He has previously threatened legal action, and warned that Attorney General John Kroger is on his side.

Kroger paid a visit to the office of The Daily Astorian earlier this summer and said he would back up Marquis if the city did not comply.

“I’m ever hopeful,” Marquis said of the situation, adding that he’ll wait for the next DUII case to be filed and see if it is forwarded to his office for prosecution in Clatsop County Circuit Court.

“This is not going to languish around. If there are DUIIs being filed in Municipal Court, there is going to be a request for direction made for the city and there will be legal consequences.”

Among those consequences include a lawsuit, with Kroger acting as Marquis’ attorney.

“It’s been going on long enough. It’s been going on for 18 months and I have no intention of letting it lie around for another month or two,” Marquis said.

Marquis says he’ll wait until after the Labor Day weekend before requesting the attorney general’s assistance.

Marquis has been campaigning for control of the DUIIs cases handled by Astoria Police for years.

By taking over the DUIIs in Astoria, he will have full control of every such case in the county. Astoria is the only city that handles its own. Marquis has said there is a different level of justice in the city of Astoria’s Municipal Court and he intends to change it.

“This is not going to go away,” he said. “That simply just isn’t going to happen.”

Van Dusen said the Astoria City Council has not had any discussions with Marquis for several months, although Marquis was directed by Astoria City Attorney Blair Henningsgaard to send all communications regarding the situation through him.

“The City Council is very pleased and satisfied with our municipal court,” Van Dusen said. “We studied the report prepared by the district attorney’s office and found that most of the cases cited as ‘problem’ were actually handled properly.”

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