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Sheriff: Investigation continues into Adams-Rothschadl assault

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New information has come to light, and the Becker County Sheriff's Department is actively investigating the assault incident involving Detroit Lakes School Superintendent Mark Adams and Mark Rothschadl of rural Ogema, according to Becker County Sheriff Tim Gordon.

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It's not clear whether the new information will result in charges being filed.

The two men brought mutual assault complaints following an incident Sept. 9 at Rothschadl's farm.

Becker County Attorney Joe Evans determined last week that no charges would be filed in the case.

"Each party provides a different version of the events. Each alleges that he was struck first by the other. There are no independent witnesses to the event. The physical evidence does not favor one version over the other," Evans said last week in a news release.

"Officially, the case was never closed," Gordon said. "We're actively researching new information -- information that was brought up after the fact. It would be remiss on my part not to have investigators assigned to follow up on these details."

The case has been reassigned within the sheriff's department, he said.

"When you have fresh information, you want a fresh look at a case," he said.

The investigation is expected to be wrapped up next week, and again sent to the county attorney's office for consideration of charges, Gordon said. He would not comment on what the new information is or which of the two men it would impact.

Evans said his office will again consider the case based on the evidence presented.

"After we issued that press release last week, the sheriff received additional information regarding the case," Evans said. "If additional information comes to light, it's certainly appropriate to take a look at it and see where it leads."

The Detroit Lakes School Board met in closed session Monday morning to discuss whether any disciplinary action is warranted against Adams, according to Board Chairman Tom Seaworth. If not, the board should throw its full weight of support behind the new superintendent, Seaworth said.

Adams came highly recommended and was getting high marks from nearly everyone, from district employees to school board members to parents, before the assault incident, Seaworth said.

"With the community pressure, it's prudent to meet as a board and give individual board members the chance to share their feelings," he added. "If something needs to happen, we can act on it."

Adams had the right to make the meeting open to the public, but opted to keep it closed Monday.

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