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Port: Spouse of Grand Forks School Board member pleads guilty to meth charge

Last week Roberta Florence Hassett pleaded guilty to a charge of delivery of methamphetamine, a level B felony. She has been sentenced to six years in the corrections and rehabilitation system. She will serve 18 months before being eligible for parole.

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MINOT, N.D. — Last week Roberta Florence Hassett pleaded guilty to a charge of delivery of methamphetamine, a level B felony.

She has been sentenced to six years in the corrections and rehabilitation system. She will serve 18 months before being eligible for parole.

Hassett is the wife of Jackie Hassett, an elected member of the Grand Forks School Board who, during the 2020 cycle, ran for a seat in the North Dakota House of Representatives as a candidate for the Democratic-NPL under her previous name, Jackie Hoffarth.

Roberta Hassett's criminal history also includes a 2010 felony conviction for possession of a controlled substance and a 2004 felony conviction for possession of drug paraphernalia according to the State of North Dakota's online criminal records database . Roberta Hassett was involved in a relationship with Jackie Hassett while a social work student at the University of North Dakota according to public records obtained from the university .

Jackie Hassett was working in the social work department at the time, and the relationship raised alarm bells with her colleagues, per those records. It ultimately led to the University of North Dakota ending Jackie Hassett's relationship with an agreement that allowed her to resign her position .

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Jackie Hassett has characterized this as her choosing to voluntarily leave the university.

According to public records from Clark County, Nevada, Roberta and Jackie were married on May 12, 2019, during a time when Jackie, still employed by UND at the time, was under a management plan, created and agreed to in January of that year, which prohibited further contact with Roberta.

That management plan was cited in the documentation from UND related to Jackie Hassett's departure.

Hassett didn't immediately respond to a phone call seeking comment.

Amber Flynn, the president of the Grand Forks School Board, said she wasn't aware of Hassett's conviction and had no comment.

Opinion by Rob Port
Rob Port is a news reporter, columnist, and podcast host for the Forum News Service. He has an extensive background in investigations and public records. He has covered political events in North Dakota and the upper Midwest for two decades. Reach him at rport@forumcomm.com. Click here to subscribe to his Plain Talk podcast.
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