Sheriff Beitel speaks to citizens after Beltrami County Board meeting

The Beltrami County Board met in person for the first time in months Tuesday, but removed the public comment section from the regular agenda.

A handful of citizens arrived at the meeting and appeared upset that they could not address the board on their concerns from the past weekend, which related to out of county citizens “posting up” outside city limits during the city-wide curfew the night following the largely peaceful demonstration Saturday afternoon.

The demonstration, according to organizers, was to protest police brutality and systemic racism in the wake of the death of George Floyd, who died while in custody of the Minneapolis Police Department.

After the meeting, Sheriff Beitel spoke with the attendants of the meeting outside the administration building, and discussed the various points in his previously issued statement.

Beitel, during his sidewalk chat, said the independent investigation into the action of these citizens is being conducted by the Brainerd Police Department.

During the County Board work session and regular meeting, the board:

  • Discussed and ultimately approved citizen appointments to various jail committees.
  • Sheriff Beitel discussed the jail’s COVID-19 preparedness plan and response to the COVID-19 positive inmate in a presentation.
  • Discussed the search process for the new County Administrator, as Kay Mack is retiring in November.
  • Approved a bid for the Highway Department’s shop repair, which was damaged in a fire last year.
  • Approved County Administrator Kay Mack’s phased retirement plan.

Larissa Donovan is the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016. She covers events and issues in north central Minnesota, which include local government, crime, courts, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University and received her degree in 2018. Larissa, native to the great state of New York, grew up in Bemidji, and enjoys spending her spare time with her family and pet cat. She also loves Star Trek, punk rock music and the theater.


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