A deputy prosecuting attorney for the Colville Tribes has been appointed as a special assistant U.S. attorney (SAUSA), Colville Business Council Chairman Michael O. Finley announced Monday with a written statement.
Melissa V. Simonsen has has worked for the Colville Tribes since April of 2010.
“This is an honor for Ms. Simonsen, and an opportunity for the Colville Tribes to be more involved in the prosecution of federal crimes on our Reservation,” Finley said. “She can assist the U.S. attorney's office in the prosecution of crimes, the processing of federal search warrants, and be a resource to both the Tribes and the US Attorney on criminal matters.”
Simonsen graduated cum laude from Gonzaga University School of Law in 2007. She also worked for two years in the Office of the Public Defender for American Samoa, from 2008-2010.
“This appointment indicates the U.S. Attorney's confidence in the Colville Tribes Prosecuting Attorney's office, and I am very pleased to receive it,” Simonsen said today. “I will be reporting to the Colville Business Council soon on the work that I do as a SAUSA.”
Bill Elliott, director of the tribes' Public Safety Department, said the appointment will benefit the Tribes in number of ways, including the possible usage of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) to provide a more comprehensive response to the complex jurisdictional issues on the Colville Reservation.
U.S. Attorney Michael Ormsby was notified of the appointment by a letter from Jane F. Reimus, of the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys, on June 13. The appointment is for one year, until June 12, 2013.