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Bismarck legislator fined $2500, ordered to perform 250 hours of community service

Rep. Jason Dockter (l) and attorney Lloyd Suhr
Dave Thompson
Rep. Jason Dockter (l) and attorney Lloyd Suhr

A Bismarck lawmaker has been fined $2500 and ordered to perform 250 hours of community service – after he had been found guilty of a misdemeanor charge in connection with a building leased to the Attorney General’s office, in which he has an ownership stake.

Republican Representative Jason Dockter was charged with “speculating or wagering on official action.” It’s a misdemeanor, that would carry a maximum of 360 days in jail and a $3000 fine. Dockter voted on Legislative appropriations bills that appropriated money for the lease.

Prosecutor Ladd Erickson had recommended a deferred sentence and a $325 fine, because it was Dockter’s first offense. South Central District Judge Bobbi Weiler agreed to no jail time, but imposed the higher penalties after Dockter was given an opportunity to say something in court, but declined.

"I look at this as the citizens of North Dakota are the victims here, and being taken advantage of," Weiler told Dockter. "I didn't hear an apology from you to the citizens, and I'm a little disappointed in that."

Weiler also ordered that Dockter’s community service be spent with the homeless community in Bismarck.

"Maybe you can see how the other side live, Mr. Dockter," Weiler said.

There was no immediate word on whether there would be an appeal.

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