(Connie Jo Discoe/McCook Daily Gazette)
Beiber said the plainclothes investigator seemed to be trying to "figure out who passed the petitions around ... if they read it to us."
Bill Weber of Culbertson, who visited with Beiber outside the community building, said the investigator asked him if it was indeed his signature on the petition. "I've never heard of something like this," Weber said of the investigation.
Interviews with State Patrol investigators were voluntary. In July 2011, petition circulator Shane Rippen of Culbertson -- who signed petition documents as sole circulator of the petition -- needed the valid signatures of at least 175 registered voters on each of three petitions circulated to oust board members Mike Baker, Larry Ferguson and Gary Matson.
In September, the school board voted 5-1 not to schedule a recall election. At that time, there were questions about whether Rippen was the only person who circulated the petitions and whether patrons were told that the petitions would save an old school building from demolition and/or reduce property taxes.
The recall effort followed a successful $7.4 million school bond election approving upgrades and renovations to existing facilities in May 2011.