Monday, August 11, 2014
Auditor Risovi Erupts Again and Fetches the Sheriff To Intimidate Public Observers
Auditor Risovi let her temper get the best of her again at the Monday, August 11, 2014, re-canvass meeting at the Foster County Courthouse. She had no patience with an observer who asked her to speak up so the public could hear her answers to Recorder Hoppe's questions. She seemed to be mumbling her answers intentionally and verbally criticized Hoppe when the Recorder insisted on getting answers from her. Several times during the meeting, Risovi completely ignored Hoppe's questions, as if the Recorder weren't speaking to her.
When State's Attorney, Paul Murphy, spoke up to defend the public observers, saying they weren't interfering, Risovi objected to his opinion and accused him of not doing his job. That statement hit a nerve with the State's Attorney, especially since the whole election fiasco can be laid at Risovi's feet. When Murphy raised his voice to tell Risovi exactly what he thought, she ran out of the room to get the sheriff. What the sheriff was supposed to do, I'm not sure (and the sheriff wasn't sure what to do either).
The Foster County, North Dakota, election recount meeting which took place on August 4, 2014, produced some big surprises. The major surprise? There seemed to be 300 ballots missing!! The truth of this still hasn't been determined. However, on Primary Election night, Auditor Teresa Risovi announced to the media that there were 1453 ballots cast, a count which she certified with the Secretary of State's office. As well, at the time, she knew how many votes were cast for the position of County Auditor, close to 1400. Now, after the recount meeting, there seem to be only 1153 ballots in security boxes and only 1153 valid voters who were checked off in the official poll book as having voted. Risovi seems to be blaming this huge discrepancy on a "computer glitch", occurring in three separate machines which counted the votes... and the fact that the county failed to train her.
For people who hadn't dealt with Risovi before, another surprise was watching her temper tantrum. She actually erupted, yelled at State's Attorney Paul Murphy, and called him out - like someone who wanted to fight. Actually, Risovi challenged him to call the Secretary of State's office to clear up a rule for the meeting. Murphy responded to her calmly saying she was "making a mountain out of a mole-hill." When Risovi got what she thought was a response from the Secretary of State's office in her favor, she couldn't wait to point her phone toward Murphy in an effort to humiliate him. In the video you'll notice how all the adults completely ignore her like they would a child who is having a tantrum. What really bothers some of us is the way she sat, smiled, giggled and talked to herself after the incident, as if she'd won a great victory. Is this the type of personality that you want to continue dealing with as Auditor of Foster County?
Thursday, August 7, 2014
[Pictured here are the members of the Recount Board: State's Attorney Paul Murphy, Recorder
Lynelle Hoppe, George Topp, with Auditor Teresa Risovi and Assistant Auditor Heather Martin]
Today, August 4, 2014, Foster County held a recount for the contest of the Foster County Commission which took place during the June Primary. Donnie Theis, close to Paul Straley in the Primary election count, requested a recount of the commissioners' votes. Little did he know that his request would turn up some horrendous results... 300 ballots unaccounted for!!
How could 300 ballots just disappear?! After counting all the ballots which had been kept under lock and seal, the total ballots inspected at the meeting totaled 1153. The official number of votes for Foster County that the Election Board sent in to the Secretary of State for the June Primary was 1453.
State's Attorney Paul Murphy contacted the Secretary of State's office to find out what to do about this highly unusual situation. He was told to tally the votes on the 1153 ballots that were at the meeting.
In the chart below, the first number is the official vote count sent in to the State during the Primary. The second number is the count which the members came up with today (with 300 ballots missing).
Bill Bauer: 696/559
Jim Carr: 686/540
Pat Copenhaver: 417/331
Paul Straley: 353/295
Donnie Theis: 340/270
Joshua Dreher: 160/133
What is to be done about this huge discrepancy no one knows at present. Check back for more information. Hopefully soon, someone will solve the mystery of the missing 300 ballots.
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
These photos were taken on July 22, 2014 - the morning after a severe storm in Foster County, ND. My friend, Dolly Footitt, and I took a drive from Carrington to Bordulac, and these were the scenes which we saw along the way.
Many best wishes to the farmers and others who reaped damages from this storm. It has been reported that no one was hurt during the storm (Thank Goodness!), but there was a lot of property damage. According to one of the weather stations, there were gusts of wind up to 80 miles per hour - straightline winds that can do as much damage as a tornado.
Hopefully, we will not have any other storms as serious as this one during the rest of the summer!
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
The Fargo Forum posted an article about our local Foster County Primary Election. It was basically a link to the original report by David Luessen from the Jamestown Sun published on July 11, 2014.
When the ND Secretary of State comments on a questionable election issue, it becomes more than local news. A letter from Secretary of State Al Jaeger to Foster County Auditor Teresa Risovi stated: "In order to revisit the alleged situation described above, the Canvassing Board must be reconvened according to N.D.C.C. 16.1-15-17 (enclosed). Then, if necessary, adjust the vote totals and resubmit a new certification to the State Canvassing Board." Several newspapers are following this issue now, especially since the ND Bureau of Criminal Investigation was called in last week to investigate the issue surrounding the absentee ballots.
This picture was taken after the Primary Election at the Foster County Fair when Auditor Risovi took vacation days from her job to campaign for Foster County Auditor which comes up for a vote in the November election. (The Primary vote was Casey Cables/908 over Teresa Risovi/459.)
In the face of possible election violations, Interim Auditor Risovi stated that the Canvassing Board did everything legally when accepting two absentee votes that lacked a signature on the application. According to Risovi, there was no violation of election laws in counting those ballots.
She continued to espouse that position even when Secretary of State Jaeger sent her a letter telling her that she "must" reconvene the Canvassing Board.
What puzzles this writer is that after the letter from Secretary of State was received by Risovi, she still defiantly stated that she wasn't going to reconvene the Canvassing Board.
Now, why the sudden change in her position?
You see, Risovi reconvened the Foster County Canvassing Board today, July 15th at 1:00 p.m. to vote on whether they should reconvene later to take another look at the absentee ballots in question - the ballots that the Election Board said were invalid.
You will see in the video taken at the Canvassing Board Meeting today that Royce Topp, Carol Rosenau, and Lanelle Hoppe voted YES to reconvene the Canvassing Board.
Please note in the video that Chairman Straley abstained from voting due to a conflict of interest. Why didn't he do that at the first Canvassing Board meeting? Also, notice how Risovi declines to vote in face of a majority against her advocacy. If her position were founded on principle, integrity, and legality, why didn't she vote NO just to be on what she thought was the right side of the law?
Let's not forget that Auditor Teresa Dietrich Risovi is the one and only person, by the constitution of the state of North Dakota, who is in charge of our county election process. If the recent Foster County Primary Election is indicative of what little she knows about her duties as Auditor, we all need to take careful watch of her actions before her term ends.
Who knows what she will do next!
Wednesday, July 2, 2014
This is the recorded phone call that I talked about in a previous article "Phone Calls Recorded at the Auditor's Office without Telling Callers." We received this recorded call by way of a public records request from Foster County.
What is so interesting about this call is the fact that Auditor Risovi knew she was being recorded (on the first section of the tape), but State's Attorney Paul Murphy did not know she was recording their conversation.
Listen to how efficient she sounds to begin with, but as soon as Murphy voices some frustration with something she did, she attacks him verbally and threatens to go to Sheriff Tufte, if he doesn't show her some respect. (One wonders what she expects Sheriff Tufte to do when she "tells on" the State's Attorney for being what she calls disrespectful.) Murphy listens to the threat and simply hangs up on her.
You have to wait a minute to hear the next section of the tape. In actuality, over seven minutes elapsed before the voice activated recording machine turned itself back on without Risovi knowing it. She was talking to someone with a deep male voice. (One doubts if she knew this conversation was on the tape when she released it as part of the public request.)
In this last section of the tape, Auditor Risovi reveals her true nature, using profanity to describe the State's Attorney, and mean-mouthing his secretary. This is a side of our auditor that the public needs to be aware of. It emphasizes that negative aspect of her nature that can't refrain from flipping someone off in the Foster County Courtroom, or from profanely bawling out the local newspaper editor for printing her $50,000 salary on his front page, or from lying to get restraining orders against people who are critical of her incompetent actions in office.
Monday, June 30, 2014
You see, those two extra votes which were counted meant that Donnie Theis (who was close to Paul Straley in votes) could not ask for a recount. It also meant that Kathleen Murray could be on the November ballot, running against State's Attorney Paul Murphy.
The Secretary of State, Al Jaeger, was asked to investigate the decision made by the Canvassing Board. As you can see in the letter from the Secretary of State, the law was violated - as CarringtonNews.com and other concerned citizens have contended all along.
The law requires that the two signatures be compared and an absentee ballot should be accepted only if the signatures correspond. In the case of these absentee ballots there were not two signatures to compare.
Please call Auditor Risovi (701-652-2441) and ask her the same question that Sec of State Jaeger asked her: "...upon what legal basis did they [you] overturn the proper rejection of the ballots by the Election Board?"
(Personally speaking, I'm positive that Carol Rosenau, Royce Topp and Lanelle Hoppe (Canvassing Board members) were there to do the right and lawful thing... to count the votes properly. I just wonder if Auditor Risovi or Commissioner Paul Straley said something which influenced them in some way to accept those invalid votes.)
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Monday, June 23, 2014
Foster County Commissioner Chairman Paul Straley admitted that he set up a device to record phone calls which come in to Sheriff Tufte's office (which also includes Auditor Risovi's office) at the courthouse. According to ND state law, it is legal to record phone calls without telling both parties as long as one party agrees to it. (Many states do not allow this, saying that it is illegal to record phone calls without all parties knowing they are being recorded. Personally, I support this viewpoint. Ethically speaking, I think it is only right to let someone know that he/she is being recorded.)
Nevertheless, whether it is legal, illegal or unethical to record a person's phone calls without telling them, some of the recorded calls at the auditor's office document some interesting facts about Teresa Risovi's performance as auditor of Foster County.
The recorded phone call which Commissioner Jim Carr wanted to be played for the public to hear, was vehemently objected to by Chairman Straley at two different times during the meeting. The phone call in question recorded Auditor Risovi using profanity against State's Attorney Paul Murphy, as well as a very rude, unkind description of his secretary. Also, Risovi threatened Murphy that if he didn't show her some respect, she would immediately go to the sheriff's office (and do what, you might wonder.).
You might also wonder why Auditor Risovi would say the things she did, knowing that her call was being recorded. Apparently the recording device had a technical aspect to it that Straley and Risovi weren't aware of. You see, after the main phone call message was done, the machine kept quietly recording and minutes later recorded the conversation that was going on in the background - apparently unbeknownst to Risovi and the person who was helping her with the recording device. It should also be noted that in the phone tape Auditor Risovi is angrily complaining about the "mousy little secretary's" husband who has been upstairs recording her; yet she is recording the calls of every single citizen/person who makes a call to her office without telling them. What a hypocrite!!