By Steve Webster
BARTON COUNTY —Until Monday, Barton County Sheriff Brian Bellendir remained silent concerning a Class-A misdemeanor charge which was issued by the Barton County Attorney’s Office.
On November 1, The County Attorney issued a summons for Bellendir to appear in court following an investigation by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.
According to court records, Bellendir is accused of “ill-treating a man in handcuffs by speaking to him in a vulgar, insulting, rude or angry manner” while serving an arrest warrant on August 10, in Great Bend.
Bellendir is also accused of striking the confined man on the side of his head. That man has been identified as Nathan Manley of Ellinwood.
Following Monday’s Barton County Commission meeting, Bellendir addressed Commissioners and the media concerning the charges that he faces as he announced that he had turned down a plea bargain agreement that was offered by the County Attorney’s Office.
“We will continue to do what we do and I’m going to continue to be sheriff as long as I can,” Bellendir said. “They may get me in the end but I’ve decided to fight and stand up for my office. I’m not going to tolerate misrepresentation from another elected official’s office that I believe are untrue.
The misdemeanor charge is the least of my concern. The action that might be taken by Kansas C-Post that holds law enforcement certification has given me no indication of what they intend to do.”
C-Post is the Kansas Commission on Peace Officers’ Standards and Training which reviews certification by Kansas Law Enforcement Officers. Barton County Attorney Amy Mellor who brought charges against the sheriff is a voting member on the C-Post’s 12-member board.
Bellendir’s trial is currently set for 9 a.m. on Thursday April 26, in Barton County District Court.