Bismarck City Attorney files harassment claims

Bismarck City Attorney Jannelle Combs
Bismarck City Attorney Jannelle Combs(KFYR-TV)
Published: Dec. 8, 2020 at 10:19 PM CST
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Taking a stand can bring you both praise and scorn. It can also happen when you’re simply doing your job.

Both Bismarck Burleigh Public Health Director Renae Moch and Bismarck City Attorney Jannelle Combs know this all too well.

They both have spoken out, alleging they’re being harassed online due to their work on COVID-19 issues.

Public Health Director Renae Moch spoke out in September regarding the intense backlash she was receiving on social media.

“I’ve been called a tyrant. I’ve been called a Nazi. I’ve been called several names,” said Moch.

Now, Bismarck City Attorney Jannelle Combs is experiencing similar attacks, ranging from calls for her to be fired using #FireCombs to death threats.

“There have been recent instances of individuals engaging in a social media and email campaign against one of our city staff, these included actual threats of harm, which is not tolerated. And is never tolerated,” said Bismarck Mayor Steve Bakken at the beginning of a city commission meeting Tuesday, Dec. 8.

Bakken added that the irony of the situation is city staff members simply carry out requests from the commission or respond to directives from the state and federal levels. The mayor is calling for an end to the online harassment.

“This is the second city staff member attacked personally this fall, very publicly. And there will be no more of that,” said Bakken.

Combs wouldn’t yet talk to us on the matter.

Combs filed a police report over the weekend about the incidents. If it’s proven, those responsible could be charged with a misdemeanor.

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