Former mayor of Big Valley fined $345 for assault of former CAO

Convicted of assaulting a local resident after a special village council meeting in June 2011, the former mayor of Big Valley

Convicted of assaulting a local resident after a special village council meeting in June 2011, the former mayor of Big Valley was fined more than $300 in court this week.

Richard Wayne Kargaard received a $345 penalty Tuesday in Stettler Provincial Court, three months after his trial.

“I find the accused guilty as charged,” said Judge D. J. Plosz, who presided over the two-and-a-half-hour trial May 10.

Serving as the mayor of Big Valley at the time, Kargaard, 69, was accused of assault after former chief administrative officer Douglas (Brodi) Somerville was allegedly prevented from leaving the village officer after a special meeting June 29, 2011.

“Evidence indicates that both men were angry with each other,” said Judge Plosz, who added that he believes evidence from Somerville and three other witnesses more than the evidence from Kargaard.

Court was told at the trial that Kargaard refused to answer questions about council’s decision to approve unbudgeted expenditures of about $56,000 to repair streets. Kargaard admitted to holding the main door to block Sommerville from leaving the building, though Sommerville said the door was pushed into his body.

Three other witnesses and Sommerville said the mayor also grabbed him by the shirt collar and held him against the wall.

Kargaard resigned from council months after the incident because the stress of the position was too much for him to handle, he said.

The judge reminded him and other elected officials that public official is not a popularity contest.

“You have to go into this knowing that you won’t and can’t please everyone all the time,” Judge Plosz said.

“Sometimes you have to have a little more patience. You just lost your cool and you shouldn’t have.”

Other people were fined and sentenced in court last Thursday.

— Jessie Ann Kumleben was given a conditional discharge and placed on 12 months’ probation for mischief to property after she smashed the windshield of a vehicle with a baseball bat.

She also was fined $500 for failing to stop at the scene of a collision and suspended from driving for one year for another charge of failing to stop at the scene.

— Orville Glen Plitt was fined $500 for failing to report a collision when he left the scene at No Frills in Stettler after his vehicle struck another vehicle.

“Leave your name and phone number is the proper thing to do,” Judge J. D. Holmes said.

— Dayton P. Driedger, 26, of Melfort, Sask., was handed a 12-month conditional sentence for possessing 5.5 pounds of marijuana at a traffic stop near Erskine in August 2010.

It was the identical sentence that a co-accused received for the incident.

He was also ordered to complete 60 hours of community service, prohibited from accessing social media and communications devices, and required to take counselling for addictions.

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