- Associated Press - Saturday, November 19, 2016

WATFORD CITY, N.D. (AP) - A judge has denied a North Dakota sheriff’s request to stop an effort by county commissioners to remove him from office.

South Central Judicial District Judge David Reich ruled Friday on the request by McKenzie County Sheriff Gary Schwartzenberger. The judge found that the legal action Schwartzenberger was using was not the appropriate route.

Reich also ruled that the county commission did not exceed its jurisdiction by arranging for a third-party investigation into the sheriff’s office.

Commissioners want the governor to remove Schwartzenberger from office because of what they say is a workplace culture of bullying and retaliation. They’ve also voted to place Lt. Michael Schmitzon on unpaid administrative leave with the possibility of termination.

Schwartzenberger tells the Williston Herald (https://bit.ly/2fsurLK ) he respects the judge’s opinion.

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Information from: Williston Herald, https://www.willistonherald.com

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