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Kidder County sheriff's court appearance waived

The initial court appearance of Kidder County Sheriff Doug Howard scheduled for Monday was waived, according to Barb Steinke, Kidder County recorder and court clerk.

Howard was charged in July with three counts of corrupt practices and one of disorderly conduct. The three corrupt practices charges are Class A misdemeanors and stem from complaints that allege he used economic coercion against Deputy John Lemieux, who is running against him in the upcoming general election.

Howard is also accused of sexually harassing a woman who supported Lemieux by making suggestive comments and massaging her shoulders without permission. This incident resulted in the disorderly conduct charge, a Class B misdemeanor.

Steinke said Howard had filed a written plea of not guilty to all charges in the case. The next step will be a pretrial hearing which has not been scheduled.

Because of Howard's ties to the court system in the Kidder County area the case has been assigned to Judge William Herauf of Stark County.

Howard continues to serve as sheriff of Kidder County pending the disposition of the case.

Sun reporter Keith Norman can be reached at

(701) 952-8452 or by e-mail at