NORTH DAKOTA (KXNET) — Political talk radio host Joel Heitkamp has filed a complaint with North Dakota’s Ethics Commission against Bismarck Republican Representative Jason Dockter.

Dockter has been named in a critical probe into a $1.8 million building cost overrun incurred under late Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem.

KX News’ Josh Meny sat down with Heitkamp to learn more about his ethics complaint against Dockter.

So you filed a complaint with the North Dakota Ethics Commission against Bismarck Republican Representative Jason Dockter after State Auditor Josh Galleon released an investigation report showing that Dockter is co-owner of the building that the attorney general’s office had leased and incurred, a nearly or around $2 million overrun. On top of that, Dockter also co-owns the contracting service, which was responsible for the bulk of the cost overrun that was incurred during the renovation of the building. Can you explain why you took this formal step and what you’re hoping to achieve?

“Well, number one, the people of North Dakota voted in an ethics commission. So I don’t know too many things that are as unethical as what we’re hearing, right? You got insider trading on a building, you don’t own the building, but you make sure once you know you got the lease that you do go out and get the building, then you get the cost to go way over what had been agreed on. And what do you do with those costs? You make sure that you get the money from those cost overruns. So I don’t know that it can get much more unethical than that. But then you add in the fact that Representative Dockter was the Treasurer for Wayne Stenehjem’s campaign. And it all looks really cozy then. And then you take another step. And the emails, any correspondence that could have happened between Wayne and Representative Dockter have been deleted, right there deleted. So the people of North Dakota don’t have the documentation that quite frankly, they own. So this is clearly something for the Ethics Commission to take a look at,” said KFGO News and Views Host Joel Heitkamp.

It was during the investigation into the cost overrun that we the media found out that former Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem and his Deputy Attorney General’s state emails were deleted, 20 years of deleted emails, which you have pointed out, would have this information, then this is a two-part problem here.

“Well, it’s it even goes beyond that. It goes beyond a two-part problem. Clearly, you’ve got a violation of the law. As far as I’m concerned. When it comes to the deletion of our emails, then you go farther, where you’ve got insider trading when it comes to whether or not you get the lease on a building, then you’ve got a situation where you make all the money on the renovation. That wasn’t part of the original lease because the building you did lease them wasn’t good enough to do the job. I mean, come on. This is about as unethical as you can get. Plus you got insider trading because you’re the treasurer of his campaign. I mean, this is a bunch of butt-covering that got exposed and I compliment current Attorney General Drew Wrigley for making this public. It was going to be public anyway. Probably in a worse fashion. That would have hurt his office more. But I think it’s Attorney General Wrigley’s job now that find those emails, get out there. Find them,” said Heitkamp.

ND Ethics Commission responds to Joel Heitkamp’s complaint:

In the coming days, KX News will reach out to Representative Jason Dockter for comment. Dockter is running unopposed for the District 7 House seat.