Two vie for municipal judge

Incumbent Municipal Judge Mark Rasmuson will be challenged by attorney Ashley Beall in the June 12 city election.

Rasmuson has served as Minot’s Municipal Judge for 36 years. He lost his position on the bench to challenger Aaron Vibeto in 2010 but was re-elected in 2014.

“I like what I do and would like to continue to serve,” said Rasmuson. “It’s been my honor to serve the City of Minot in the past and will be in the future. I’m in good health and show up for work every day.”

Rasmuson received his undergraduate degree from North Dakota State University prior to graduating from the University of North Dakota Law School in 1968.

Beall graduated from the University of Texas at El Paso in 2005 with a degree in political science and psychology before earning her law degree from the UND Law School in 2009. Like Rasmuson, she has a private practice in Minot. Her resume includes extensive work on behalf of juvenile victims of crime.

“I’ve never been part of a political campaign,” said Beall. “This is different than anything I’ve been involved in before.”

Beall noted that Municipal Court processes cases involving driving under the influence, simple assault and domestic violence. She says those cases are among the reasons she is seeking the municipal judgeship.

“I believe it’s a point of intervention for people that will cause them to stop offending,” claimed Beall. “There is a significant number of people that can be helped if each case is dealt with and thoughtfully disposed.”

Rasmuson told the Minot Daily News that the amount of unpaid fines levied in Municipal Court tripled in the four years, 2010-2014, when he was not on the bench. Beall claims the amount has risen further after Rasmuson’s return to Municipal Court adding, “It costs money to put someone in jail.”

According to Rasmuson the amount of fines due Municipal Court ballooned from $73,500 when he left the bench in 2010 to $280,000 four years later. The amount of accounts receivable to Municipal Court as of April 30 of this year was $389,471.

The municipal courtroom is located on the east side of the City Auditorium. Court convenes Monday through Friday at 8:30 a.m. with court trials scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. The position of Municipal Court judge pays $51,000 per year.