Joe's charges dropped, Jeff settles

This article submitted by Linda Stelling on 11/19/96.

Jeff and Joe Bertram, Paynesville, were back in the news last week on unrelated incidents.

Joe Bertram appeared before Judge Bernard Boland in Stearns County District Court on bribery charges. Judge Boland dismissed the charges saying they were clearly offered to avoid prosecution on the shoplifting incident.

Therefore, the bribe and the theft constituted a ãsingle behavioral incident,ä and charging Bertram with theft and later with bribery is double jeopardy.

Jeff Bertram made a $4,500 out-of-court settlement with Greg and Kathy Peterson, Alexandria.

The Petersons have said Bertram made repeated harassing phone calls to their home when they lived in Paynesville and defamed their character when he asked a television reporter if Kathy Peterson told the reporter the couple was separated and that Greg Peterson had slept with Bertramâs ex-wife.

Bertram maintained his innocence last week after the settlement. The Petersons feel by paying them out of his pocket proves his guilt. ãWe are happy it is over as he has put us through enough, more than what the public realizes,ä Mrs. Peterson said.

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