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Former West Fargo official pleads guilty to lesser charges for fight at home, apologizes to police and others

Timothy Solberg was arrested in January after a domestic incident at his home.

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Special to the Pioneer
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FARGO — Tim Solberg, a former West Fargo assistant city administrator arrested in January on felony domestic assault charges, entered into a misdemeanor plea agreement Monday, May 2.

Solberg pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct-fighting behavior, a Class B misdemeanor, and preventing arrest, a Class A misdemeanor, according to Cass County District Court records.

Solberg will serve about a year of unsupervised probation and must pay a $325 fine. He was also ordered to complete a domestic violence assessment. Solberg was given credit for having already spent three days in jail.

Solberg was charged Jan. 18 with two Class C felonies: aggravated assault of an adult victim and felony resisting arrest. He initially pleaded not guilty to the felony charges and a jury trial was scheduled to begin Tuesday, May 3.

According to police reports, officers were called to Solberg's Fargo home late Saturday, Jan. 15, for a report of a domestic incident.

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When officers arrived, they were told Solberg and his wife arrived home just before midnight, and as they walked in the house, he grabbed his wife and threw her down to the ground, causing her to lose consciousness, according to authorities. Solberg grabbed his wife by the throat and slammed her head against the wall, the report said. The couple's children were in the home at the time officers arrived, and they reported that while they did not see the incident, some of them saw their mother unconscious, authorities said.

According to the police report, Solberg was evasive when answering questions from officers. As officers attempted to place him under arrest, he tried to evade them by "pulling away and disobeying commands to put his hands behind his back," according to authorities.

Monday, Solberg released a statement to The Forum in which he apologized to the Fargo Police Department for his behavior the night of the incident and stressed that he is an "ardent supporter of law enforcement."

"I write today to make clear that I do not condone my behavior that evening and would like to publicly apologize to the officers and leadership of the Fargo Police Department for not treating them with the respect they deserve in responding to a very difficult matter in my personal home," Solberg said. "My personal situation that evening caused me to behave in a way that in no way reflects the respect I have for them or their work. I hope to make amends with any and all involved as soon as it becomes possible for me to do so."

In his statement on Monday, Solberg said he and his family are seeking closure with the help of their friends, family and church community.

"My family and I are working through a number of personal decisions to overcome the tremendous damage done by this event," he wrote. "We feel determined that we will be coming out on the other side far stronger than we have ever been."

Following the incident, the city of West Fargo placed Solberg on unpaid administrative leave. After an internal investigation, the city fired Solberg Jan. 27 for violating several city employee policies.

According to a West Fargo city report, Solberg used "profanity multiple times toward the Fargo Police Department" and "repeatedly referenced his position as the assistant city administrator" during the incident at his home.

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Solberg later sent emails to city commissioners and Mayor Bernie Dardis in which he asked Dardis to intervene on his behalf in regards to his placement on unpaid leave. The city's report said Solberg's communication with the elected officials violated city policies as staff are prohibited from trying to influence city officials.

Monday, Solberg thanked those who have supported him the past few months and said he hopes to work for the betterment of his family and community in the future.

"I would like to thank those closest to us who know us and seek us out for who we truly are, regardless of the actions or reports of one evening," he said. "I want to publicly express gratitude to those who have assisted us professionally and spiritually. We have a tremendous church family and our closest group of friends have made us feel normal when this very long aftermath has been anything but normal. Having personal matters aired publicly is a position no one can be prepared for, and it takes truly wonderful people to trust you and love you for who they know you to be in those times."

Solberg said he will not be making further comment on the matter.

Readers can reach West Fargo editor Wendy Reuer at wreuer@forumcomm.com or 701-241-5530 . Follow her on Twitter @ForumWendy .

Related Topics: WEST FARGOCRIME AND COURTS
As the West Fargo editor, Wendy Reuer covers all things West Fargo for The Forum and oversees the production of the weekly Pioneer.
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