Sunday, June 8, 2014

Things To Consider about Our Foster County Government before Voting in the Primary on June 10, 2014

Most of you know that I (Judy Keller) am the creator and administrator of as well as an interactive site on Facebook. Earlier this year, after watching DakTel's airing of a Foster County Commissioners' meeting, I was appalled at the way Chairman Paul Straley treated community members who wanted to speak. He yelled at people, told them to stop talking and had them escorted from the meeting by the sheriff and/or deputies. It was at that point that I started attending Foster County Commissioners' meetings, writing articles about the meetings, and making comments on Facebook about Straley's ignorant, unlawful actions.

My husband, Ted Keller, other concerned citizens, and I started investigating and confronting Chairman Straley about his questionable actions. As time and the commissioners' meetings progressed, we also started to focus on Teresa Risovi, the Auditor. Facts came to light that made us distrust her ethics, as well as become aware of her incompetent actions in office. Not liking our focus on her, Risovi filed restraining orders against us, wherein she lied (under oath) committing perjury in order to get a judge to sign them. She also lied during the court hearing, with the result that Judge Schmitz completely dismissed the restraining orders without Ted or me even having to testify. 

Through asking for public records, we discovered facts that we think the community may not know, but should know. It has been a difficult process, because Risovi is in charge of public records and has many times stalled the process and unlawfully overcharged us, charges which she had to pay back once Scott Porsborg took over as Assistant State's Attorney. In the meantime, Risovi let her friends/supporters believe that we were sending her threatening letters (which were actually legal notices which we lawfully had to send to her). She has appealed to them to help her stop our "bullying" her. (In this case, "bullying" in our opinion means "investigating and confronting" her.) 

Not knowing the true facts (or not caring about the truth) a few of Risovi's supporters have based their opinions on untruths and have spread all kinds of rumors which have no basis in fact.  Some of them are very good at taking a fact and twisting it into a lie that actually sounds like it might be true.

As for facts that we've discovered (with documented proof), I've put together a lengthy list for everyone to read. Many of these facts are obvious to everyone, just by observing Commissioner Straley and Auditor Risovi at the commissioners' meetings. Other facts were discovered by asking for public records which are available at the Auditor's office. Lastly, many of the following facts are contained in legal documents, court hearing transcripts, and legal depositions of Straley, Risovi and Greger. (I've highlighted some facts that are particularly interesting.)   I'll be happy to share proof of any of the following  statements.

 - only allows certain people to speak at commissioners' meetings
 - yells at people with opposing views 
 - talks loudly over constituents' attempts to speak 
 - often hits the panic button to have Sheriff/deputies oust his critics 
 - constantly votes with Greger against Commissioner Carr's wishes 
 - unlawfully voted to hire Teresa Risovi as Emergency Manager during an executive meeting on December 6, 2011 before telling the community  
- invites citizens to file law suits against the county instead of admitting errors and fixing them 
- voted to hire Risovi as "interim" auditor during unclearly-noticed meeting before telling the community. Later changed the commissioners' notes to "appointed" giving her full official capacity as Auditor 
 - voted to give Auditor/Emergency Manager Risovi a $50,000 salary and two aides - against Commissioner Carr's objection (ND Century Code says that an auditor cannot be paid for another government job.) 
 - voted to eliminate voting machines anywhere other than Carrington - against Commissioner Carr's objection 

 - denies requests of certain community members who are critical of her to be on the agenda at the Foster County Commissioners' Meetings 
 - filed frivolous restraining orders against Ted & Judy Keller, community members who were/are critical of her job as Auditor. Her suits were dismissed by Judge Schmitz. 
 - lied under oath in her petitions and committed perjury numerous times in court 
 - unethically put untrue words in commission meeting notes to support her frivolous restraining petitions. Later commissioners voted to take them out as untrue. 
 - angrily mean-mouths - uses foul language - against community members 
 - used "the bird" to express herself in the Foster County courtroom 
 - recorded phone calls to her office without telling callers 
 - told friends on Facebook (Nov. 21, 2011) that "I accepted the Emergency Manager of Foster County (Carrington) ... I start Dec 1st." That was weeks before applicants were even interviewed by the commissioners on December 6, 2011. You should hear Straley on the tape insisting on hiring Teresa as "the best person for the job." 
 - was hired as interim auditor in an unclearly, perhaps unlawfully, noticed commissioners' meeting on March 3, 2014, before telling the public - against Commissioner Carr's objection.
 - was given a $50,000 salary by Straley and Greger for 2 jobs (Auditor & Emergency Manager) with 2 assistants - against Carr's objection 
 - fired Assistant Auditor Sarah Aberle without notice and hired an aide without auditor's experience to replace her 
 - mismanaged and messed up the absentee ballot system, engendering distrust from many community members 
 - leads her friends and the community to believe that certain concerned citizens are bullying her, when, in fact, they are investigating and legally attempting to expose her unlawful and incompetent actions as Foster County Auditor 



  1. Tell both sides of the story. How about the stalking you guys do and the harassment. This is slander, plain and simple. If any of this was true, law enforcement would have dealt with it accordingly.

  2. I don't normally publish comments made by an anonymous writer, but I'd like to address this person's misconceptions.

    As far as "telling both sides of the story," Risovi's side was completely dismissed by Judge Schmitz in a court hearing. Her petitions for restraining orders against my husband and me contained lies which she swore to under oath but which she couldn't prove. In fact, that's where the lies and rumors of us "stalking" her began. She said that I was waiting in my car outside the courthouse watching her go and come from work. That was on a day when I could prove that I wasn't there. She said that Ted was driving by her house, as if he was stalking her. Her house happens to be across from the Chieftain, on the way to the high school, and to our business office, and we do drive by there a lot. However, we didn't even know where she lived before she filed the restraining orders against us!

    Other lies: Risovi swore that Ted was standing up, red-faced, pointing his finger at her and yelling at her during a commissioners' meeting. The video tape of the session showed the judge at the hearing that none of it was true. Risovi actually had her back to Ted the whole time and made up the story completely. The judge told Risovi that Mr. Keller was actually the calmest person there. (That was the March 4th session where Paul Straley was the one who was yelling at community members who he didn't want to talk, pointing his finger at them, pushing the panic button, and having them ousted from the meeting.)

    As far as "harassment" and "slander" are concerned, what Anonymous calls "harassment" I call "investigating and confronting Auditor Risovi about her unlawful/unethical actions in office." Also, it isn't slander when you are pointing out the unlawful conduct of a public official - particularly when you have the proof to support your accusations.

    Like you, I think "law enforcement would have dealt with it [her actions] accordingly" if true. I don't understand how she can continue to be auditor. In one meeting, Commissioner Jim Carr said that she should resign. However, Commissioners Straley and Greger ignored him, as usual. (Carr is also the one who objected to Risovi being hired as auditor and objected to them giving her a $50,000 salary and two aides. He also voiced his concern about Risovi's mismanagement of the absentee ballots, and objected when Straley and Greger voted to have only one voting machine for the whole county located in Carrington. Sometimes it seems like he is the only one who is concerned about how taxpayers money is being wasted by Straley's and Risovi's incompetence.)

    Finally, Anonymous, why don't you identify yourself and state some actual facts when you make your accusations and spread your rumors? I have faith that the unbiased people in our community can tell the difference between who is stating facts and who is spreading rumors, and they will vote accordingly on June 10th.

  3. This information should be forwarded to Rob Port, owner of in Minot. Rob is a watchdog for elected and non elected officials who abuse their power and the last few years has exposed the corruption within the ND State Board of Higher Education. I suspect Rob Port would find this extremely interesting. Check out his site at