July 6, 2017

Sheriff can depose former prosecutor

By Jack Dura
Farmer Staff Writer

A handful of players in removal proceedings for McKenzie County’s suspended sheriff will be deposed this week regarding contact the case’s former prosecutor had with the Governor’s Office.
Special commissioner Karen Klein ruled last Wednesday that Sheriff Gary Schwartzenberger and his attorney Michael Geiermann can depose former prosecutor William John O’Driscoll, Deputy Attorney General Troy Seibel and Leslie Bakken Oliver, legal counsel to Gov. Doug Burgum.
Klein also granted protective orders for Burgum and Lt. Gov. Brent Sanford, as Burgum will ultimately decide the sheriff’s fate while evidence is insufficient to depose Sanford.
Geiermann had subpoenaed the five of them after learning O’Driscoll had withdrawn from the case in two letters to Burgum last spring, communications the defense attorney characterized as “absolutely inappropriate.”
O’Driscoll and Burgum’s camp had filed for protective orders from Klein, whose order protected only Burgum and Sanford.

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