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Devils Lake Journal - Devils Lake, ND
  • Prosecutor who quit runs for cty. commission

  • CAVALIER, N.D. (AP) — A North Dakota county prosecutor who resigned just before a February hearing on whether the governor should remove him from office is seeking a seat on the Pembina County Commission.


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  • CAVALIER, N.D. (AP) — A North Dakota county prosecutor who resigned just before a February hearing on whether the governor should remove him from office is seeking a seat on the Pembina County Commission.
    Stuart Askew is among five candidates in Tuesday's primary vying for two spots on November's general election ballot, the Grand Forks Herald reported.
    "We've had a lot of problems, culminating in the fiasco that I went through, and we need a change," Askew said.
    The county commission late last year levied a number of allegations against Askew, ranging from failure to perform duties to improper personal behavior. Gov. Jack Dalrymple appointed a retired district judge to hold a hearing in February after the state crime bureau looked into it and the attorney general's office signed a complaint against Askew.
    Askew resigned before that hearing, calling the allegations hearsay and rumors, and claiming that his ability to be an effective state's attorney had been "irrevocably compromised." He had been the county's chief prosecutor since 2005.
    Since then, Walsh County State's Attorney Barb Whelan has been filling in on a part-time basis in Pembina County, assisted by University of North Dakota law students.
    The other four commission candidates are a former mayor of Cavalier, a retired farmer, a retired county highway employee and incumbent Commissioner Corene Vaughn, with whom Askew had a contentious relationship.
    In telephone interviews with the Herald, all commission candidates expressed a desire to move on, rather than dwell on the controversy.
    "We've had a lot of negativity that has pulled us down, and I feel very badly about that," Vaughn said. "We need to have teamwork and trust in each other. To me, that is imperative."

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