County sheriff on county board: "Not a decent relationship" - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

County sheriff on county board: "Not a decent relationship"


WABASHA, Minn. (KTTC) -- A county sheriff is defending himself after an email slur from a county commissioner that he might need a mental competency evaluation.  

However, Sheriff Rodney Bartsh says the feud with some members of the Wabasha County Board began when an email was sent out stating the budgets were going to get cut. He says the threat of cuts is in response to his not following the path of a certain county commissioner.

The sheriff just purchased two police interceptor patrol cars, without notifying the board, because he felt the county needed them. One of the old squad cars had 170,000 miles on it -- typically, cars are replaced at 130,000 miles, and he feels as sheriff he has the authority to make those decisions.

He also did it without spending taxpayer dollars. That's just part of an ongoing issue.

The sheriff defended his 10 year reputation Tuesday after reading an email sent by County Commissioner Deb Roschen to another colleague inquiring if it would be possible to have the sheriff take a mental competency evaluation, stating the sheriff is clearly demonstrating, quote, "bizarre behavior."

"There was concern I probably shouldn't be carrying a gun and it came from a statement I made with the Board," said Bartsh. "And it had to do with it was another investigation. Every time we turn around they try to do an investigation against our office and they keep coming up empty."

Bartsh explained he just wants to do his job without continually looking over his shoulder.

Commissioner Roschen simply stated the board is "simply carrying out county policy."

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