November 22, 2016

Judge rules against sheriff’s petition

By Jack Dura
Farmer Staff Writer

Judge David Reich has denied Sheriff Gary Schwartzenberger’s petition for a writ of prohibition.
Ruling Friday, Nov. 18, Reich said in his order that the McKenzie County Board of Commissioners did not exceed its jurisdiction in asking Acting State’s Attorney Todd Schwarz to prepare a petition for Schwartzenberger’s removal by Gov. Jack Dalrymple.
Reich also wrote that commissioners did not exceed their jurisdiction by hiring the Village Business Insitute to investigate claims against Schwartzenberger and Lt. Michael Schmitz, nor when they placed Schmitz on adminstrative leave after VBI substantiated evidence of workplace bullying and harassment.
“The ruling by the court does not say the commissioners are right or the state’s attorney either,” Schwartzenberger said Monday, Nov. 21, adding, “It only means this goes forward.”  
He added the matter is a civil one now “which is what I was trying to avoid but now (Schwarz) has forced my hand.”
The sheriff said he will pursue whatever civil litigation “it takes to get the commission and the state’s attorney to stop interfering with the administration of my office.”

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