December 27, 2016

Sheriff to return Humvees

Sheriff to return Humvees

By Jack Dura
Farmer Staff Writer

After their scrutinized purchase late last summer, the McKenzie County Sheriff’s Office will return its Humvees to Bismarck’s state surplus store.
County commissioners voted 3-2 at their Dec. 20 meeting to return the Humvees for a refund. Commissioner Vawnita Best said it wasn’t understood at the time of purchase that the Sheriff’s Office already has an all-terrain vehicle and a utility task vehicle, both with off-road capabilities for search and rescue.
Suspended McKenzie County Sheriff Gary Schwartzenberger purchased three high-mobility, multi-purpose, wheeled vehicles, or Humvees,  for $3,500 from the state surplus store before commissioners’ Sept. 7 meeting, during which he and commissioners questioned each other about county purchasing processes.
At the time, commissioners told Schwartzenberger they fielded calls from constituents asking questions commissioners said they couldn’t answer about the Humvees’ purchase, while Schwartzenberger asked why his office must fall in line with other departments’ purchasing processes in bringing expenditures before commissioners before approval.
Speaking last week, Schwartzenberger said he does not agree with commissioners’ decision to return the Humvees.
“I don’t see why they want to send them back,” he said.

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