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N.D. sheriff facing possible stalking charge following affair resigns

LAKOTA, N.D. -- Nelson County Sheriff Kelly Janke abruptly announced Friday that he is resigning immediately to avoid prosecution over a charge he says involves a former romantic relationship outside his marriage.

Janke was in charge of the arrest of Lakota farmer Rodney Brossart and several family members in 2011 over a neighbor’s stray cattle Brossart refused to return.

Walsh County State’s Attorney Barbara Whelan has been working on possible charges against Janke for months based on an investigation in which the Nelson County prosecutor would have a conflict of interest.

Whelan said Friday that Janke had been facing a possible misdemeanor charge of stalking but that the criminal investigation now was closed upon his resignation.

In a news release Friday morning, Janke, a former Grand Forks police officer, wrote that he was resigning after eight years as sheriff in Nelson County.

“I have worked hard to repair the hurt I caused to my wife and children, to make amends and to strive to be a better person,” he wrote.

- Grand Forks Herald

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