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Stevens County Auditor/Treasurer submits resignation

MORRIS – Stevens County Auditor/Treasurer Neil Wiese has submitted a letter of resignation to the Stevens County Board of Commissioners.

Wiese’s last official day with Stevens County will be Aug. 8. In his resignation letter, Wiese said he will be on vacation the last two weeks of his employment, from July 28 through Aug. 8.

In an interview, Wiese said he decided to resign because of conflict with some members of the board of commissioners.

“Obviously there’s been friction for some time and I just decided that enough is enough. I’m not going to put up with their BS anymore,” said Wiese. “The tipping point was when they voted to have me clerk the board and there was somebody much better qualified to clerk the board than I was, had done it before, and they didn’t have them do it – well now they are.”

According to state statute, in the absence of a county coordinator – a position vacant in Stevens County following the resignation of Engineer/Coordinator Brian Giese – that responsibility reverts to the auditor unless the board appoints someone else.

After Giese resigned, the board voted to have Wiese serve as clerk of the board and facilitate development of the 2015 county budget.

Wiese also criticized the board for not offering him a stipend for working as clerk of the board.

“They had a chance to offer me one, but they wanted to pay me later without numbers given,” said Wiese. “That was kind of the final straw. I thought ‘No, I’m not doing that, because you’re already underpaying me as auditor/treasurer in my opinion.’”

Minnesota’s primary election, which county auditors are charged with overseeing, is Aug. 12. Wiese said his staff is well-trained and most of the prep work for the primary is finished. Weise said the board will need to appoint someone to certify election results.

Wiese’s name will remain on the ballot for the auditor/treasurer election in November. He is the only candidate who filed to run in that race, which Wiese said makes it likely he will win.

Wiese said he would look at the results of other county races, specifically the contest between Commissioner Phil Gausman and challenger Laurie Vavra, before deciding whether he would accept the position.

“It’s extremely unlikely that I would lose the election at this point,” said Wiese. “If Laurie would happen to win, I would take a look at accepting it, but I would discuss it with the then-board and see what we wanted to do.”

The board has scheduled a special meeting on Friday, July 25 to accept Wiese’s resignation, appoint a new clerk to the board, and discuss how to fill the position of auditor/treasurer.