Foster County court hearings rescheduled
CARRINGTON, N.D. — Court appearances on Tuesday for a Foster County commissioner and the former county auditor were rescheduled for next month after a “waiting for report/discovery” continuance was filed.
Commissioner James Carr and Roger Schlotman, a 31-year Foster County auditor who resigned in November, will appear at preliminary hearings at 9 a.m. Aug. 29 in Southeast Judicial District Court before Judge Thomas Merrick at the Foster County Courthouse in Carrington on multiple charges.
Monday’s continuance marks the third time the discovery deadline was extended in both cases and the second time the preliminary hearings have been rescheduled.
Schlotman faces one Class B felony charge and two Class C felony charges of misapplication of entrusted property, one charge each of Class B and C felony criminal conspiracy to commit misapplication of entrusted property and two Class C felony charges of tampering with public records.
Carr is facing two Class A misdemeanor charges of tampering with public records, and one Class B felony charge and one Class C felony charge of criminal conspiracy to commit misapplication of entrusted property.
A Class A misdemeanor carries a maximum penalty of one year imprisonment and a $3,000 fine, a Class B felony has a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine, and a Class C felony has a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
According to a criminal complaint filed last year following an investigation by the state Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Schlotman wrote a $944 county check to himself and cashed it, used or transferred property with- in the Foster County Emergency Management FEMA account in a manner not authorized by the county, refused to sell property at a sale of properties the county acquired via delinquent property taxes, drafted a contract for deed without authorization allowing the former owner to make installment payments on those delinquent taxes, and didn’t list corrections in the official meeting minutes of the Foster County Commission.
Schlotman resigned as county auditor on Nov. 6, the same day BCI searched the auditor’s office and interviewed county staff at the Foster County Courthouse. Schlotman has retained Fargo attorney William Kirschner to represent him.
Carr is accused of conspiring with Schlotman to transfer the property within the Foster County Emergency Management FEMA account in a manner not authorized by the county, conspiring with Schlotman regarding the tax sale and tampering with Foster County Commission meeting minutes. At the time of his arrest, Carr was the chairman of the commission, a seat now held by Commissioner Paul Straley. Carr has retained attorney Bruce Quick from the Vogel Law Firm in Fargo to represent him.
The case is being prosecuted by Wells County State’s Attorney Kathleen Kay Murray to avoid any conflicts of interest with the Foster County State’s Attorney’s Office.
Sun reporter David Luessen can be reached at 701-952-8455 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org