Plain Talk: Fargo commission candidate says mayor’s emails to detectives crossed ‘ethical boundaries’


MINOT, N.D. — Ves Marinov serves the state of North Dakota as a member of the Highway Patrol. He’s also a citizen of Fargo who is running for a city on the city’s commission.

He’s campaigning on a platform of addressing crime, eliminating special assessments, moving the city to a ward system for its elected leaders, and making the city more efficient.

But it’s that first issue, given his day job, that Marinov, a new American from Bulgaria who immigrated in 2003, is most passionate about.

“Crime has been rising,” he said on this episode of Plain Talk. “We can’t solve that by turning our police departments into another social services department.”

Recently I wrote a story about Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney, who holds the portfolio for policing issues for the city commission, emailing with Fargo Police Department detectives regarding what authorities describe as a robbery incident in which the mayor’s son was the victim. In his emails, Mahoney told detectives not to follow a particular lead and suggested other leads to follow as if he were a member of the investigation team.

Mahoney defended his actions to me, and Fargo Police Chief Dave Zibolski didn’t see a problem either, but Marinov says that crossed a line. He said it’s a “clear example” of one person having too much power over the city’s law enforcement. “All the oversight is coming from the mayor,” Marinov said. With regard to the investigation involving the mayor’s son, “I feel that some ethical boundaries were crossed.”

Also on this episode, Fahad Nazer, the spokesman for the Saudi Arabian embassy in Washington D.C., joins to talk about something North Dakota, America, and Saudi Arabia all care about, which is promoting stable oil markets.