Courthouse Employees Submit Petition Against Sheriff - KMOT.COM - Minot, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Courthouse Employees Submit Petition Against Sheriff

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In the midst of the controversy at the Burke County Sheriff's Department, different parties are speaking up about hostility in the workplace.

"When the former sheriff announced that he was going to be resigning, I was threatened by an individual that if I did end up taking office, it would be a very hostile work environment. Towards me," says Sheriff Michael Cude.

"What we feel is hostile is that a lot of times we feel that we have to be so careful with what we say and how much information we give because we have been accused of slander many times," says Burke County Auditor Jeanine Jenson.

The complaints have been pouring out against Cude since he was appointed to office, on May 28, after the resignation of former mayor Barry Jager.

"This is the first time that I've had anyone question the way I take minutes, the way I handle the commissioners meetings, and the way I handle elections. Prior to this, the other sheriffs did the sheriff thing and I did the auditor thing," says Jenson.

"Well, there was a lot of things going on within this department that were unacceptable. There were a lot of things that were overlooked, they weren't addressed, and there were conduct issues with deputies that were never taken care of. So, of course, me being sheriff, I'm not going to put up with those type of things," says Cude.

Some employees at the courthouse say they felt threatened by Cude because he used unorthodox methods of documentation.

"The first week I was here as sheriff I carried a tape recorder all through my time as a deputy, but she said that because I carried a tape recorder she felt threatened because, what if she says something that would get her in trouble?" says Cude.

"That's never been standard practice here. We have never had to even consider that anyone was taping every conversation. And there are people here that do not want to be tape recorded," says Jenson.

One thing both parties can agree on is that they're ready for the controversy to be over.

The auditor Jeanine Jensen was not the individual making all of the claims. That employee who put together the petition refused to comment on the situation. Cude is up for re-election in November and Attorney General Stenehjem will have about a month to respond to the petition.


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