Albert Krueger of Harvey is one of four Republican candidates seeking a seat in the North Dakota House of Representatives in District 14.
Currently he is on unsupervised probation related to a conviction last year for animal neglect.
According to a report from the Sheridan County Sheriff’s Department obtained via an open records request, on August 12 of 2015 a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service official noticed a horse in a pasture owned by Krueger which had a sore on its nose from a halter and reported it to law enforcement.
Deputy Matthew Lisic traveled to the pasture and reported that it was ill kept with both the horse and cattle present appearing underweight. On August 15, Krueger brought the horse to a local animal hospital where a chain that had grown into its nose was removed.
Here is Krueger’s explanation for how the horse came to be in that condition from Lisic’s report:
According to state records Krueger pleaded guilty to animal neglect on December 9, 2015. He ordered to pay fees totaling $527.50 and was sentenced to unsupervised probation which ends on December 9, 2016.
Krueger is challenging incumbents Jon Nelson and Robin Weisz for the Republican nomination for the state House after losing the endorsement of the District 14 NDGOP at their endorsing convention earlier this year.
“It should never have come about,” Krueger said when I contacted him about the case. “I agreed with it and a year’s probation because it’s a big hassle to go to court.”
“A horse got away from me,” he continued. “It had a halter and a chain and the chain got caught into it somehow. The sheriff knew about it for two days and then came out and charged me.”
“If anyone should have been charged it should have been the sheriff,” he added. “This is part of the corruption that’s going on in this state.”
Asked what he would say to voters considering him on the June primary ballot, he said “It is nothing.”
State’s Attorney Ladd Erickson, who prosecuted the case, declined to comment.
In 2013 state lawmakers passed reforms to the state’s animal cruelty laws, making penalties more sever for the worst offenses. The bill was SB2211 introduced by Senator Tim Flakoll, a Republican from Fargo.
Here’s the full report. Warning, there are some fairly graphic photographs of the horse.