Smoke gets in your eyes in Ward County

If where there is smoke, there is fire, then there is a raging blaze burning away at the very core of Ward County. In this instance, the smoke is the growing body of evidence supporting the idea that one or more than one Ward County commissioner, acting in official capacity, tried or succeeded in intervening in two then-active cases against former Sheriff Steve Kukowski to protect a comrade and in opposition to the welfare of taxpayers – and are continuing to cover their trail.

The latest evidence came this week when Commissioner Alan Walter and Commissioner Larry Louser were asked by Commissioner John Fjeldahl during the county commission meeting about a clandestine phone call between Walter and Louser and a Department of Corrections employee in Bismarck just prior to the April 11 closed-door executive session at which the conspirators’ plot unfolded. Walter and Louser denied the call even took place, and Walter issued the same denial after the meeting when asked by Minot Daily News.

Only the call did take place. At least according to the State official, who confirmed it happened to Minot Daily News – complete with the exact time of the call prior to the closed-door session.

Interestingly, according to paricipants’ own statements, Walter and Louser were the only ones going into the April 11 meeting who knew the subject of the meeting.

This isn’t the first time a member of the county commission has told a blatant…mistruth over the course of this entire cover-up. Following the April 11 executive session, Minot Daily News asked Louser if the commission had taken any action. Louser said no, on the record.

Only the commission had taken action – voting for the sweetheart deal for Kukowski, complete with taxpayer funded golden parachute.

When amateurishly trying to market the baseless myth that the commission’s sweetheart arrangement with Kukowski was going to save taxpayer money, at least one commissioner cited that the savings would come from the end of costly monitoring at the Ward County Jail.

Only, the people who actually make that decision didn’t seem to know anything about that false promise. In fact, the State just extended indefinite monitoring at the jail, despite the fact that under new Sheriff Bob Barnard, the jail is finally making considerable improvements in operation.

There are other questionable statements and conflicting statements. Much could probably be determined if the tape of the April 11 meeting were made public. Fjeldahl, following proper procedure, made a motion to do just that this week. Not surprisingly, his motion did not draw a second.

Why all the lies and secrecy? Who exactly does the apparent majority of the county commission serve? It certainly isn’t the taxpayers. But, perhaps that’s OK because what these people are serving up is a steaming heap of moose droppings.