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Sheriff charged with misapplication of property

Posted 11/10/15 (Tue)

By Amy Robinson
Farmer Staff Writer

McKenzie County Sheriff Gary Schwartzenberger has been charged with Misapplication of Entrusted Property, a Class A Misdemeanor, for allegedly using a county credit card to charge almost $1,000 in unauthorized expenses during a trip to Las Vegas earlier this year with his wife.
The North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) issued a court summons to Schwartzenberger on Wednesday, Nov. 4, for the misdemeanor charge.
According to Special Agent Tim Erickson with the BCI, Schwartzenberger made various unauthorized purchases and charges for his personal use and consumption to the McKenzie County Sheriff’s Office credit card account while attending the Western States Sheriffs’ Association Annual Conference in Las Vegas.
The court documents outline charges that totaled approximately $980, which included a $556 plane ticket for his wife, a $96 upgrade for a convertible, $120 for a meal at the South Point Casino - in excess of the allowed per diem amount, and nearly $120 for a golf outing Schwartzenberger attended.
According to the court documents, the charges were made without prior approval, which is county policy. And it was several months later that the charges were repaid, however, not before the bank shut down the credit card due to several late payments. The documents say that Schwartzenberger paid back the money to the county several months after numerous attempts by the auditor’s office seeking repayment.
“I have been advised by the Attorney General’s office not to comment on this open criminal investigation,” stated McKenzie County Auditor Linda Svihovec, “for which the Board and myself are listed as state