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County awaits sheriff’s outcome

Posted 7/25/17 (Tue)

County awaits sheriff’s outcome

By Jack Dura
Farmer Staff Writer

Sheriff Gary Schwartzenberger’s full removal hearing wrapped after less than two days last week, sending the drawn out and delayed process into its final stretch.
Gov. Doug Burgum now awaits special commissioner Karen Klein’s report with findings and her recommendation from which he will decide to remove or reinstate McKenzie County’s suspended sheriff.
Eight witnesses testified in the two-day hearing which ended around 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, July 18. The hearing was originally set to last July 17-21, and attorneys indicated on day one the hearing would likely end Wednesday.
Speaking after the hearing, the defense said they felt the state presented little evidence warranting removal.
“In order to remove an elected official, you have to bring forth a tremendous amount of evidence in very specific categories,” defense attorney Michael Geiermann said. “Personality conflicts and management style: Those are not issues the governor should think about when removing an elected official.”

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