Judge tells pipe­line pro­test­ers to ‘get a job’ to pay lawyers

The Washington Times Daily - - NATION - — Va­lerie Richard­son

A North Dakota judge had a mes­sage for pipe­line pro­test­ers seek­ing to avoid pay­ing their public de­fend­ers: Get a job.

Two pro­test­ers con­victed Tues­day in the first jury trial re­lated to the long-run­ning Dakota Ac­cess pipe­line protest asked a judge to waive the $500 both were or­dered to pay their public de­fend­ers.

State Dis­trict Court Judge Bruce Ro­man­ick was hav­ing none of it, in­form­ing the two men that $500 is far less than a pri­vate lawyer would have charged and not­ing that pro­test­ers have demon­strated am­ple re­sources when it comes to post­ing bond.

“You can get a job and pay th­ese costs back,” Judge Ro­man­ick said, ac­cord­ing to the Bis­marck Tri­bune.

Ben­jamin Schapiro, 30, of Ohio and Steven Vo­liva, 62, of Wash­ing­ton were found guilty of ob­struct­ing a high­way and dis­or­derly con­duct stem­ming from a Sept. 27 protest in­volv­ing hun­dreds of ac­tivists near St. An­thony.

The men each re­ceived 10-day sus­pended sen­tences for the mis­de­meanor con­vic­tions, and were or­dered to pay $500 to law en­force­ment for re­im­burse­ment, along with $500 for their public de­fend­ers and manda­tory court costs.

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