State’s Attorney Has New Assistant

Barnes County will soon have a new assistant State’s Attorney. Ashley Heitkamp will join the State’s Attorney’s office in early January. She will replace Brad Cruff who was elected Southeast District Judge in Wahpeton earlier this month.

Lee Grossman, Barnes County State’s Attorney, said he was happy for Cruff, but sad to see him leave.

Heitkamp will begin as an assistant 2. At that level she will be nearly equal to Grossman in responsibility he told the Barnes County Commission at its last regular meeting.

Heitcamp is currently an assistant state’s attorney in Stutsman County where she’s worked for the past two years. She went to law school at Marquette University and entered into a clerkship for federal Judge Ralph Erickson in Fargo after graduating.

According to Grossman, clerking for a federal judge is a prestigious position for someone just out of law school - it’s very competitive.

Heitkamp looks forward to working in Barnes County. She wants to prosecute cases, it’s always exciting and it’s fast, she said. She especially likes the idea of working for a small county where you really have to depend on each other. Here, she will get to handle a variety of cases.

She suspects, since she already has state’s attorney experience, she will have to “hit the ground running,” when she starts in Barnes County.

Currently, Heitkamp lives in Fargo with her husband Jeff “Wally” Wallgren, a financial consultant, and their newborn son Reid. She plans to stay in Fargo because she has a good family support system there, she said. When she’s not working she likes running and working on her house.