Criminal Charge Against McKenzie County Sheriff Dismissed


The McKenzie County Sheriff who was facing a criminal charge of misapplication of entrusted property won’t be having his day of court. 

That’s because the charge against him has been dismissed. 

Gary Schwartzenberger, the once embattled McKenzie County Sheriff, has now been vindicated.
A district court judge has decided to dismiss the misdemeanor charge stemming from alleged misuse of a county credit card on a business trip to Las Vegas in March 2015. 

In the order granting the motion to dismiss, the district judge said the state failed to meet its burden of proof for the criminal charge back in June when the McKenzie County Board of Commissioners attempted to have Schwartzenberger removed from office. 

At that time, the Special Commissioner assigned to the case stated Schwartzenberger could not be found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of misapplication of entrusted property. In the order granting the motion to dismiss, the judge said the state already failed to meet its burden of proof and to move forward with the criminal case would essentially be a re-trial of the same offense. 

Schwartzenberger could not be reached for comment. However, his attorney said they were happy with the decision. “We are grateful for the court’s ruling. It was the correct ruling,” said attorney Tom Dickson. 

The state attorney general’s office declined to comment. 


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