New Becker County Attorney Appointed
Carol McCarthy | Apr 17, 2018 AT 12:14 pm
DETROIT LAKES, MN--A clarification to KDLM's report that an "interim" Becker County Attorney was appointed Tuesday by Becker County Commissioners to fill the post being vacated by current elected County Attorney Tammy Merkins as she exits to become a judge.
The course of action by the Becker County Commissioners this week officially appointed a "new" Becker County Attorney. Taking the reins from Merkins is Brian McDonald. McDonald has served as an assistant Becker County Attorney for five years. Prior to that he spent time working with Mahnomen County and also in a private Detroit Lakes law firm.
Three candidates applied for the appointment. Current assistant Becker County Attorney Jennifer Knutson, Assistant Clay County Attorney Steve Beitelspacher and McDonald each submitted their resumes and gave presentations to the board of commissioners Tuesday. Knutson has 10 years as an Assistant Becker County Attorney. Beitelspacher had a private practice in Detroit Lakes for 8 years and now works for Clay County Attorney's office. Following discussion, commissioners voted unanimously (4-0) for McDonald (District 2 Commissioner Ben Grimsley abstained). Becker County Attorney Tammy Merkins and Assistant County Attorney Kevin Miller were appointed earlier this month by Governor Mark Dayton to replace retiring judges in the Seventh Judicial Court District. Merkins last day will be in May. Miller exits the end of this week. Along with the criminal and civil court cases handled by the Becker County Attorney's office, other pressing issues McDonald will take the lead on is filling the two vacancies left by Merkins and Miller's exits as well as dealing with the County's opening of and move of inmates to, a new jail.
According to McDonald, the process has begun to fill the two vacated positions in the office.
The Becker County Attorney post is on the ballot in November.