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Letter supporting sheriff on commission agenda
Commissioners want to back Bellendir in upcoming trial
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Sheriff Brian Bellendir
I am humbled by the fact they have this kind of faith in me.
Barton County Sheriff Brian Bellendir

A letter supporting Barton County Sheriff Brian Bellendir is on the agenda for the County Commission Tuesday morning. Bellendir is scheduled to go on trial this week for mistreating a prisoner.

Bellendir was charged last October with one count of “mistreatment of a confined person,” Nathan B. Manley. The misdemeanor charge against the sheriff alleges that on Aug. 10, 2017, Manley was detained in handcuffs by Bellendir, who spoke to him in a “vulgar, rude and/or angry manner” and struck him on the side of his head.”

Bellendir shunned plea negotiations and requested a jury trial which was set for April 26 in Barton County District Court. However, the trial was continued and is now set to run this Wednesday through Friday in Barton County.

“We just wanted to be supportive of Brain in his job as sheriff,” commission Chairwoman Jennifer Schartz said. “He’s been such a good sheriff for us.”

In addition to being the consummate law enforcement professional, Schartz said Bellendir works well with the commission while being a good steward of county funds.

“We just hope the judicial process plays out the way we hope it will,” she said. It’s unfortunate it had to get to this point.

“They wanted to show support for me in the upcoming trial,” said Bellendir. “I certainly appreciate it.”

The idea had been in the works for a while, he said. He had been in on some of the discussion.

“It just goes to show what kind of a case this is when the commissioners are willing to wield this kind of action,” he said. “I am humbled by the fact they have this kind of faith in me.”

The letter reads:

“The Barton County Commission has had the privilege of working with and supporting Sheriff Brian Bellendir since 2013. During this time period, Sheriff Bellendir has actively promoted, preserved and delivered a feeling of security and safety to the residents and businesses of Barton County.

“As a twice elected official, Sheriff Bellendir, who has been in law enforcement for more than 30 years, has consistently worked closely with the County Commissioners and other County Officials for the betterment of Barton County. He has not only expanded the Sheriff’s Office with the construction of a new detention center and range, he has added personnel and enhanced programs since taking office. Sheriff Bellendir has completed this while not once exceeding his annual budget during his multiple terms.

In conclusion, the Barton County Commission fully supports and appreciates the service of Brian J. Bellendir as the duly elected sheriff, and looks forward to continuing to do so in the future.”

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This is the letter of support for Barton County Sheriff Brian Bellendir that is on the County Commission agenda for Tuesday morning.