Port: Documents give more context for Fargo Mayor Mahoney's involvement in police investigation
Affidavits filed by law enforcement officials seeking search warrants in the investigation into a robbery and assault incident targeting Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney's son give a clearer picture of the incident.
MINOT, N.D. — Last month Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney said he wasn't trying to meddle in the Fargo Police Department's investigation into an October 2021 assault and robbery incident involving his son, Dylan Mahoney.
New documents I've obtained give fresh context to that claim.
Mahoney not only is the mayor but also manages the police department's portfolio for the city commission. In emails I obtained in April through an open records request, Mahoney instructed police detectives not to pursue a theory that the incident was related to a drug buy.
"Dylan did not have any cash on him for a buy of drugs and no intent so I would not pursue that angle," Mahoney wrote to Detective Troy Hanson.
In subsequent emails, Mahoney told investigators he had obtained the assistance of the Moorhead chief of police, and asked them if they'd interviewed the mother of one of the people involved.
"I'm just trying to help them solve the case," Mahoney told me at the time when I asked him about the emails. "I'm not trying to influence the investigation."
Mahoney's account to me largely gibes with what's revealed in a set of affidavits seeking a search warrant for the phone of the woman Dylan Mahoney was with, as well as various cloud media accounts associated with that phone.
"A lady picked him [Dylan] up and drove to a certain place and a door opened and they beat the s--- out of him," is how Mahoney in April described to me what happened. "Dylan was robbed," he added, saying his son is the "victim" of the incident.
According to the affidavits, Hailey Berg picked up Dylan Mahoney from North Dakota State University on Oct. 4, 2021, after the two arranged a meet-up to smoke marijuana. Mahoney told officers the two rode around town before picking a spot to park near 1400 12th St. N in Fargo.
Later, Berg told officers they had gone to that location because she had arranged to purchase marijuana, though she said Dylan Mahoney wasn't aware of this. Then on Dec. 2, Berg volunteered her cellphone password to investigators who had seized the device previously and obtained a search warrant for it.
Per Hanson's affidavit, Berg told investigators at that time she was "part of a conspiracy with other people to assault Dylan Mahoney."
Messages obtained from Berg's phone, and described in the documents, indicate that she had begun messaging with an unknown person the morning of the assault on Mahoney, arranging for the sale of "coke."
In deleted messages found on the phone, sent and received contemporaneous to the assault, an unknown person stated to Berg, "don't roll up then when we rob we'll tak ya shi then no weee."
Berg responded with two messages: "Yes" and "exactly."
According to Hanson's affidavit, in an interview with Dylan Mahoney's parents, they expressed the theory that the assault was the result of a traffic accident from the day before which they said some on social media were blaming on Dylan Mahoney.
"The Mahoney family feels Dylan was robbed as retaliation related to the crash on Oct. 3, 2021," Hanson states in the documents. "They believe it is highly suspicious that Berg reached out to Dylan on Oct. 4, 2021, after a long period of no contact. Berg then drove Dylan to a dark area where he was robbed, but Berg wasn't."
City of Fargo spokesman Gregg Schildberger said this matter "remains an active investigation for the Fargo Police Department."
"The investigation file related to this incident was forwarded to the Cass County State’s Attorney’s Office on April 13, 2022," he said in an emailed statement. That was two days after my original story on this matter was published.
"Approximately a week ago, the Cass County State’s Attorney’s Office forwarded the file onto the Burleigh County State’s Attorney’s Office for review," Schildberger added.
When we spoke in April, Mahoney told me he was "frustrated" with the amount of time the investigation was taking.