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Published February 06, 2013, 03:47 PM

Criticized Nelson County prosecutor steps down

GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) — A part-time county prosecutor in northeastern North Dakota who has been criticized for his handling of criminal cases, including one high-profile case, has resigned.

GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) — A part-time county prosecutor in northeastern North Dakota who has been criticized for his handling of criminal cases, including one high-profile case, has resigned.

Nelson County State's Attorney Doug Manbeck declined to discuss his reasons with the Grand Forks Herald, saying he didn't want to fan any controversy but rather "let it lay."

Late last year, Sheriff Kelly Janke called for Manbeck's ouster, saying Manbeck did not work well with law enforcement. Janke also has criticized a proposed plea agreement with Rodney Brossart, a rural Lakota farmer involved in a summer-long standoff with law enforcement in 2011.

County Commission Chairman Odell Flaagan also has criticized Manbeck.

Manbeck has not spoken publicly about the criticism. He said he plans to focus on his private law practice and tax preparation business in Lakota. He also serves as city attorney for Lakota and Michigan.

Nelson County commissioners appointed Manbeck to the post after Steve Simonson resigned in 2009. Manbeck, who also had served two four-year terms in the late 1980s and early 1990s, had two years remaining on his current term.

Manbeck said that Ramsey County State's Attorney Lonnie Olson told him that he would assist Nelson County until the commission appointed someone to serve the rest of Manbeck's term.

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