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Burkett withdraws consideration for city administrator position

After being named a finalist for the position last week — contingent with a background check and contract negotiations — Nathan Burkett withdrew Monday from being considered for Brainerd city administrator.

Burkett, current county administrator in Todd County, sent council members a letter stating: “It is with my sincere regret and apologies that I am writing this letter to inform you I am withdrawing from consideration for the position of Brainerd City Administrator.

“I wish you the best of luck in your search.”

He was one of six finalists interviewed by council members Sept. 10 and 11 from a total field of 54 applicants. Council on Sept. 11 approved by a 7-1 vote the motion to offer the position to Burkett, with council president Mary Koep voting against it.

The Dispatch reported Sept. 14 that Burkett’s wife, Kim, currently faces charges in Todd County of theft and theft by swindle. Kim Burkett, former Long Prairie Chamber of Commerce director, was charged May 15 in Todd County District Court on felony charges in connection with allegedly misusing chamber funds from mid-2011 to April 2012. She is accused of taking approximately $29,191.68 according to court documents. Nathan Burkett was never formally charged or implicated in anyway in the case, and the council was aware of Kim Burkett’s current legal issues during the entire city administrator search and hiring process.

Kim Burkett made her first omnibus court hearing Sept. 14, where both the state prosecution and the defense stated they weren't prepared to hold omnibus proceedings at this time. Her next hearing, a contested omnibus hearing, will be scheduled to take place in the next 45 days.

A council meeting is set for noon on Sept. 24 to discuss the next steps in hiring a city administrator.

JESSI PIERCE, staff writer, may be reached at 855-5859 or Follow her on Twitter at (@jessi_pierce).