An Oregon judge plans to bill Ammon Bundy as much as $70,000 a day for security costs related to the siege of a wildlife refuge by his group of militants.
The Oregon militants seized federally owned lands at the Malheur National Wildlife Preserve on January 2, demanding that the government transfer the land and release two convicted arsonists from prison. The occupation forced area schools to close for two weeks and also caused other security issues.
The militants have rifled through government paperwork in the compound, and according to eye witness reports from radio reporters, also accessed the computers. Some Fish and Wildlife employees have moved out of their homes, out of fear that the militants may know their home addresses and other personal information.
The militants have used a government backhoe to take down a fence that separated private and public land. They have also put up a new sign, changing the name of the land to “Harney County Resource Center.”
— Dave Killen (@killendave) January 12, 2016
Sheriff David Ward refused to be intimidated and told the militants that “time was running out,” and instructed them to go home and end the occupation. Ward erected concrete barriers around his office and the county courthouse after the militants threatened him and other country officials.
Harney County Judge Steve Grasty estimated that the occupation has cost taxpayers between $60,000 and $70,000 a day and plans to pass the bill onto leader Ammon Bundy. Grasty also criticized Republican lawmakers for meeting with the militants last week, against the advice of him and other county officials.
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
Judge Gratsy also told people not to assist the militants by sending them food or supplies.
“No matter how you feel, do not bring food and supplies up to the refuge,” said Gratsy.