Testimony begins in McKenzie County Sheriff removal trial

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MCKENZIE COUNTY - Testimony began today in the removal proceedings for the suspended McKenzie County Sheriff.

Prosecutors called Gary Schwartzenberger to the stand this morning. Schwartzenberger was suspended last Thanksgiving after an independent consultation firm found instances of bullying and workplace retaliation.

He also is facing a criminal misdemeanor charge for misusing the county credit card. In April, 2015, Schwartzenberger attended a law enforcement conference in Las Vegas and used the card to pay for his and his wife's plane ticket and event fees. Schwartzenberger eventually paid back the county, after some delays.

"There was some things that were missed and forgotten, which they were brought up later and paid for and reimbursed. But in no way was I trying to be deceitful to try to get the county or the credit card to pay for my wife's ticket or her conference fee," said Schwartzenberger.

The proceedings are expected to continue throughout most of the week.