Update: It appears as though there was a previous incident in Florida. See below.
Superintendent of Public Schools Kirsten Baesler, a Republican, has been booked into the Burleigh County Detention Center as of this afternoon.
I don’t really have any details to add at this point. The booking information is below.
She’s accused of violating section 12.1-17-01(2)(b) of the North Dakota Century Code, which you can read below.
Baesler is innocent until proven guilty. We do not yet know the facts the case. This is a human being we’re talking about. Let’s be respectful of that before leaping to judgment.
For some context, Baesler did just emerge from a bruising fight over Common Core which resulted in the narrow defeat of a bill in the state House to withdraw the state from the Smarter Balanced Consortium. Baesler has been in the middle of that battle since taking office in 2012, and has been the target of much criticism and invective from Common Core opponents.
Update: From the Forum:
A 48-year-old victim told officers that Baesler assaulted him during an altercation. Police say he had visible injury as well as dried blood on his face.
Baesler had left the scene before officers arrived. She was later located and arrested.
Baesler is currently out on bond. Media reports stating otherwise areinaccurate.
Baesler has been in a long-term relationship with Todd Tschosik who works in the Bismarck Public School System. His age matches that of the male described by the Forum.
A tipster told me that Tschosik faced charges in Florida for an incident involving Baesler last year. Indeed, the State of Florida shows an arrest for Tschosik on July 12, 2014 for battery/domestic violence.
You can read that report here. The status of the charges are “dropped/abandoned.”
Update: DPI just sent out this statement from Baesler:
Kirsten Baesler Statement on Domestic Incident of Feb. 15, 2015
“Early Sunday morning, Feb. 15, 2015, I was involved in a domestic incident at the Bismarck home of my fiancé, Todd Tschosik. An argument escalated to the point where I was concerned for my safety. Unfortunately, this incident was not the first situation where I felt I was at risk. In fact, the problem has been escalating in recent months.
The mistake that I made was I thought I could fix the problem, and that it was somehow my fault. But that is not true. What I should have done was to seek help from professionals who could help me to escape an unhealthy relationship. No one wants to admit they aren’t as strong or as capable as they believe they should be. I encourage people who find themselves in this situation to reach out to their pastor, counselor or domestic abuse professional and get the help that they need.”
Due to the legal issues involved, Baesler will not make any further comment on this incident until the matter has been resolved.
Here’s Baesler’s booking report from Burleigh County.