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Fargo native resigns as McKenzie County state's attorney for federal prosecutor post

The McKenzie County's state's attorney is leaving his post next month to serve as a federal prosecutor in Fargo. Jake Rodenbiker announced his resignation, which will take effect in mid-September, last week. He will begin his new role as an assis...

The McKenzie County's state's attorney is leaving his post next month to serve as a federal prosecutor in Fargo.

Jake Rodenbiker announced his resignation, which will take effect in mid-September, last week. He will begin his new role as an assistant United States attorney shortly after leaving Watford City.

Rodenbiker, 35, a Fargo native, said the move represents the fulfillment of a long-term goal.

"I have aspired to serve my country as a federal prosecutor since at least 2004, when I spent my first law school summer externing with the United States Attorney's team that I will soon join," he said via email. "It is a highly sought after opportunity for continued public service that I am very grateful to have and very eager to start, notwithstanding the fact that it will be difficult to leave this office that in cooperation with so many has been built up the last few years to better meet the demands of justice."

He was hired as McKenzie County's first full-time state's attorney about three years ago after completing a stint as a prosecutor in Florida, and returning to North Dakota for the same role in Burleigh County and Lincoln.

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"He did a really good job for the county, kept us on the straight and narrow, I thought," Richard Cayko of the McKenzie County Commission said. "I hate to see him go."

The office has grown to include four full-time prosecutors, and handles a caseload heavy enough that it warranted the appointment of a second district judge last fall.

The county's chief assistant state's attorney, Todd Schwarz, will assume lead duties until Rodenbiker's successor is appointed by county commissioners.

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