Harwood locations metropolis worker on paid go away after arrest on assault expenses – InForum

HARWOOD — The general public works superintendent of town of Harwood has been placed on paid administrative go away after being arrested and charged with two felonies and a misdemeanor.

On Monday, Could 2, Bernard James Stasch, 60, was charged in Otter Tail County, Minnesota, with second-degree assault with a harmful weapon, terroristic threats and home assault, a misdemeanor, based on Minnesota courtroom information.

The assault cost carries a most sentence of seven years in jail and a $14,000 fantastic, and the terroristic menace cost carries a most sentence of 5 years in jail and a $10,000 fantastic.

Bernard James Stasch.jpg

Bernard James Stasch {photograph} from the Otter Tail County Jail.

Particular to The Discussion board

The choice to position Stasch on paid administrative go away pending an inside investigation to start instantly got here throughout a particular assembly of the Harwood Metropolis Council and Mayor Blake Hankey on Friday, Could 6.

Stasch has labored for town of Harwood for practically 28 years and just lately made bail, Hankey stated.

The vote handed 4-1 with Hankey, councilmen George Vinson, Jamie Nettum and Brock Hansen voting for the movement. Councilman Dick Sundberg voted towards the movement. Stasch will stay on go away till town has achieved its personal inside investigation.

“We’re going to take an abundance of warning right here,” Hankey stated. “That is clearly a severe matter for town.”

Hankey instructed The Discussion board he didn’t anticipate the investigation to take lengthy.

“We simply don’t know but what’s going on. I don’t assume that it needs to be six months or a yr; it received’t take that lengthy to resolve this,” he stated in the course of the assembly. “My ideas are we’ve a metropolis worker that has been a helpful member right here for 27 years, and what he’s dealing with now are allegations.”

Based on courtroom paperwork, police had been referred to as to 32941 Pickerel Drive in Richville, Minnesota, on Could 1, after Stasch allegedly “did assault one other with a harmful weapon.”

Courtroom paperwork additionally allege Stasch was consuming closely, and he received into an argument together with his fiancee, at one level throwing her to a sofa, damaging a vase and placing his palms round her throat.

“The defendant let her up and acknowledged he was going to shoot himself and” his fiancee “wouldn’t go away the home alive,” courtroom paperwork state.

Stasch then allegedly threatened to kill his fiancee whereas in the home. A member of the family referred to as authorities, and when deputies arrived, his fiancee escaped. Stasch, who’s listed because the defendant, got here out of the home and fired his firearm twice, based on courtroom paperwork.

A 3rd shot was additionally fired, however it was unclear who fired it in courtroom paperwork.

Deputies then used an armored car to strategy the residence, making quite a few bulletins.

“The defendant was yelling unintelligibly and introduced with animated, unpredictable and irate habits. The defendant was additionally brandishing a firearm in his left hand,” courtroom paperwork reported.

Courtroom paperwork additionally allege Stasch pointed the firearm on the armored car and held the gun to his head and walked out and in of the residence.

Hours later, Stasch surrendered peacefully.

Earlier than town council’s vote passed off, Vinson stated unpaid go away was not “the fitting name, as a result of we don’t know what is going on. As a result of we have not spoken to Bernie, and no inside investigation has been achieved but. There are extra unanswered questions, so paid go away is extra applicable.”

Vinson and Sundberg additionally careworn that the neighborhood of about 800 is worried.

“Belief of the neighborhood members we’re serving has been put in jeopardy right here. Bernie is a tenured worker with town and has offered our neighborhood with nice service for fairly a while, so he deserves a little bit of the good thing about the doubt right here. I don’t know what brought on this …” stated Vinson, who together with Hankey will probably be a part of the interior investigation staff.

Sundberg disagreed with placing Stasch on paid administrative go away as a result of he didn’t need the investigation to go on longer than a month. Stasch has an annual wage and advantages including as much as about $83,000, Sundberg stated.

“Persons are uncomfortable beneath the circumstances that Bernie is in to have him across the public. I do know he hasn’t been convicted of something, however are we ready to pay somebody after we’re not getting any work out of him?” he stated.

Earlier than the vote, Hansen stated paid administrative go away was applicable till the interior investigation is full.

“He has the choice, if he chooses, to get assist, based on our handbook. Since he has no trip time, he can use sick time for that therapy if he so chooses,” Hansen stated.

Makes an attempt to succeed in Stasch for remark weren’t profitable Friday afternoon, and there was no legal professional listed for him in courtroom information.