Posted 8/15/18 (Wed)
By Neal A. Shipman
Gary Schwartzenberger, McKenzie County Sheriff, asked the McKenzie County Commissioners on Tuesday, Aug. 7, to pay the $3,050 in legal fees that he incurred as part of his defense before the North Dakota Supreme Court against charges brought against him by the county.
But Schwartzenberger left the commissioner meeting with nothing more than the board’s request that he provide them with an itemized statement of those costs.
“I incurred over $75,000 in legal bills, not including the pro bono legal work that was performed for me defending myself against these charges,” stated Schwartzenberger following Tuesday’s meeting. “I wanted to give the commissioners a chance to make it right.”
Schwartzenberger, who was elected McKenzie County Sheriff in November 2014 and began his duties in January of 2015, was charged in November of 2015 for making illegal purchases, including purchasing his wife’s airline tickets and her registration fee to attend the National Sheriff’s Convention, as well as charging a rental vehicle upgrade, golf fees and other personal expenses, to a county credit card. According to court documents, in April of 2015, the county requested Schwartzenberger to reimburse the county for those expenditures which he did in June of 2015.
But still, according to Schwartzenberger, the county continued to push for the removal of him from office through a methodical and slanderous attack.
“They were proven wrong,” states Schwartzenberger, which is why he believes that he is owed his legal expenses.
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