New North Dakota governor allows sheriff removal to proceed
(AP) — North Dakota’s new governor is allowing removal proceedings to go forward against Ward County Sheriff Steve Kukowski.
Ward County commissioners voted earlier this month to ask Gov. Doug Burgum to dismiss the removal proceedings, or to lift Kukowski’s suspension.
Burgum responded he has no authority under state law to take either action.
Former Gov. Jack Dalrymple initiated removal proceedings after a special prosecutor handling misdemeanor charges against Kukowski petitioned the action last March. Dalrymple suspended Kukowski in June, pending a removal hearing that has been delayed until the criminal case is decided.
Kukowski faces misdemeanor charges related to an October 2014 incident in which an ill jail inmate died after being transported to a law enforcement agency in Bismarck. Kukowski maintains his innocence.