El Dorado County Sheriff Strips Federal Agency of Law Enforcement Power

El Dorado County, California Sheriff John D’Agostini has stripped the US Forest Service of their authority to enforce State law within the county because he says he’s received “numerous, numerous complaints:”

“I take the service that we provide to the citizens of El Dorado County and the visitors to El Dorado County very seriously, and the style and manner of service we provide,” D’Agostini said. “The U.S. Forest Service, after many attempts and given many opportunities, has failed to meet that standard.”

The sheriff won’t give specifics, but he says he’s concerned about the number of complaints his department’s received against the federal officers.

A law professor was asked if this local action can supersede federal enforcement:

“Looks to me as though the sheriff can do this,” [John Meyers] said. “They don’t have state powers in the first place, but essentially the sheriff can deputize individuals to have authority in his or her jurisdiction.”

US Forest Service would only say the following:

“The U.S. Forest Service Law Enforcement has not received this letter yet, but we have valued our partnership and good working relationship with the county over the years.”

The TenthAmendmentCenter blog reiterated the basis for Sheriff D’Agostini’s actions were justified when Sheriff Mack successfully sued the Clinton Administration in 1994:

In 1994, the Tenth Amendment was reaffirmed by the Court when Sheriff Mack and Printz sued the Clinton Administration. The opinion in Mack and Printz v. United States stated, “The Framers rejected the concept of a central government that would act upon and through the States, and instead designed a system in which the State and Federal Governments would exercise concurrent authority over the people. The Federal Government’s power would be augmented immeasurably and impermissibly if it were able to impress into its service–and at no cost to itself–the police officers of the 50 States…Federal control of state officers would also have an effect upon the separation and equilibration of powers between the three branches of the Federal Government itself.”

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