Burgum monitoring ‘situation’ involving state senator’s texts with inmate
BISMARCK, N.D. (KVRR) – Gov. Doug Burgum says he supports State Sen. Ray Holmberg’s decision to step down from his leadership role, just days after reports that said Holmberg exchanged scores of text messages with Nicholas Derosier, who is jailed and facing federal child pornography charges.
Holmberg resigned Wednesday as head of a powerful panel that oversees the Legislature’s business. Additionally, allegations surfaced online from two years ago by a man who accused Holmberg of sexually assaulting him ten years earlier.
“Governor Burgum agrees with Sen. Holmberg’s decision to step down from his Legislative Management leadership position given the current circumstances and potential for distraction,” according to Burgum spokesman Mike Nowatzki.
“The governor respects the Legislature’s responsibility in dealing with matters involving its own members and will continue to monitor the situation in conjunction with legislative leadership.”
Fargo criminal defense attorney Mark Friese is representing Holmberg and investigating the allegations. Friese says Holmberg hasn’t been charged with any crime, and there is no indication that he will.
When contacted by KVRR News, Holmberg declined to comment and referred all questions to Friese.
Holmberg, a retired school counselor, announced in March that he was retiring from the Legislature, a move that came as a surprise to many lawmakers and others at the state Capitol.