Tracker Pixel for Entry

​Native adoption scammer released to the Centre, Inc.

by C.S. Hagen | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | News | July 1st, 2019

The Centre Inc. - photograph by C.S. Hagen

FARGO – Six months after receiving a more than four-year sentence, Betty Jo Krenz was released to a minimum-security rehabilitation center.

Krenz, 48, of Woodworth, pleaded guilty in January under the Alford plea, which means she acknowledged there was enough evidence to be convicted, but refused to admit to felony theft of property involving faking adoptions of Native children.

Krenz was released to the Centre in Fargo, or Centre, Inc., according to the North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation records. The Centre, Inc. is a private nonprofit facility that provides transitional living facilities for pre-release adults, helping inmates through substance abuse, home detention services, day reporting, community service programs, and job placement, according to the Centre in Fargo’s website.

Betty Jo Krenz mugshot - ND Department of CorrectionsKrenz attempted to sell Jodie Blackboy’s daughter, Julissa, without Blackboy’s knowledge to Autym Burke, a victim from Oregon. Krenz’s release from prison also upset her own daughter, Amber Schulz.

“I am sick of the justice system,” Schulz said on Facebook. “She is a con artist. She is manipulating and she has not received the help she has needed. I have been told women’s prison here in ND is overloaded, they took someone they considered ‘low risk’ and put them in a treatment center and back to the community. Anybody that truly knows Betty, knows she may not be violent, but she’s high risk for the community.”

Joshua Helmer, the executive director of the Centre, Inc. wouldn’t confirm that Krenz had been transferred.

“Since our facilities are also treatment facilities, there are steps we need to go through to confirm or deny a person’s status within our program and or to speak in regards to the circumstances surrounding them being referred to our facility/program,” Helmer said. “The first step, if that person is in one of our programs, would be to contact the referral source and inform them of the news media inquiry/request and get direction on how to process your request.”

Generally speaking not all residents at the Centre, Inc., are considered inmates, Helmer said. 

"Most of our residents are permitted to leave the facility for employment, school, and other approved appointments/activites," Helmer said. "There are strict accountability, sign out requirements that are monitored by staff. We conduct telephone and in person checks on residents when signed out in the community."

Krenz was a former caseworker for the Spirit Lake Tribal Social Services until she was fired in 2011. She made national headlines about her work, including a 2014 campaign advertisement approved by Senator Kevin Cramer, and by speaking at a congressional subcommittee involving Cramer about her work at Spirit Lake.

During the time she was involved in faking adoptions, she frequently mentioned Cramer, and U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Ben Carson, according to Autym Burke. Burke initially paid Krenz $1,800 in adoption fees, which were later mostly paid back.

Krenz was also a nominee for the 2017 L’Oreal Paris Women of Worth Award, but was not selected, according to L’Oreal management staff. She has a long criminal record involving forgery and writing bad checks, both under her current surname and former surname, Edland, according to North Dakota court records.

On September 27, 2017, the Spirit Lake Tribal Council banned Krenz from entering the Spirit Lake Reservation, tribal administration reported.

“It’s disturbing to know that she did not and will not receive any consequences to her actions and will not get any treatment for her,” Schulz said. “The victims get less rights than the convicted do as we get conflicting answers and will never get to see justice to what she has done to all her victims. She is already harassing the public. She is already back into her circle of manipulation and conning. It’s only a matter of time again.”

Why Krenz was moved or has received preferential treatment was not clear, but Michelle Linster, the public information officer for the North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, said Krenz arrived from the Dakota Women’s Correctional and Rehabilitation Center.

“Ms. Krenz is currently serving for theft of property,” Linster said. “The ND DOCR has an obligation to place individuals in their custody with the least restrictive environment where public safety is concerned.” 

The women’s Centre, Inc. facility in South Fargo resembles a modern condominium or small hotel. The front door is locked, and visitors have to be buzzed in.

Autym Burke said Krenz’s transfer was more than disappointing.

“I actually have seen some of her correspondence with people through text,” Burke said. “She’s up to the same old things. Trying to manipulate people to help her get some creature comforts while she is in there. It’s sad really. Here we all thought we had really done some good having her removed from society for awhile. We felt like morally we did some good there. Maybe protecting others. But now she has access to everything she needs and has used historically (phones, computers, social media) to victimize people. It’s just sad to me. Sad and disappointing really.” 

“The only justice we get is her being publicly shamed,” Amber Schulz said. “And quite honestly, I don’t know if that is enough for me. After 30 years of this… you just learn how to deal with it I guess and I learn how to deal with it by being open about it.” 

Recently in:

WILEY FIELD, North Dakota – The stench hits first. Invisible and explosive, hydrogen sulfide burns through mucous membranes, leaving a metallic taste on the tongue. Breathe in enough – which isn’t much – and the gas, a…

Culture

Chrome Web Browser

by Chuck Solly

We haven’t talked about the Chrome web browser for a while and now is a good time because Google is coming out with a new version of the browser. This will be Chrome 77 which will be arriving as I write this. Disclaimer- I use…

Thursday, September 19, 6 – 9 p.m.Front Street Taproom, 614 Main Ave, FargoCheck out this one of a kind storytelling event surrounding the theme of: “”Well, that didn’t work.” with live music by Warren Christianson.

By Zach Nerpelzachnerpel@gmail.comEvery Summer, I perform the same tired dance routine trying to convince myself to make the most out of the limited weather. Go outside and experience nature more, you schlub! Walk around some trees…

Gadfly

Another Southpaw

by Ed Raymond

Am I Left-Handed Because Of Genes? Am I Heterosexual Because Of Genes?I celebrated International Left-Handers Day in the middle of August. I entered First Grade at District #54 in Morrison County as a lefty and left it as one…

To say that this year’s Bartenders Battle was the best display of talent in the six years since its creation would be an understatement and a disservice to not only the bartenders who made it into the competition, but also the…

By Kristin Gruberperriex1@gmail.comThe High Plains Reader spoke to Chase Nelson of Nelson Farms about why his farm chose to specialize in the unique Aronia berry, and the upcoming festival celebrating it.HPR: Can you tell us about…

When asked to describe their sound, Max Dameron guitarist and vocalist of the Portland, Oregon based two piece Wizard Rifle replied: “People call us a doom band sometimes which I think is funny because we are pretty spazzy.” On…

Marketed as “The Banana Splits Movie” even though the only on screen titles stick with “The Banana Splits,” Danishka Esterhazy’s bottom-shelf slasher flick marks the first R-rated adaptation of a Hanna-Barbera property…

By Kris Gruberperriex1@gmail.comThe High Plains Reader spoke to Plains Art Museum Executive Director Andy Maus about “Symphony of the Cosmos,” the upcoming improvisational, live performance with artists Aida Shahghasemi and…

Theatre

No Big Disgrace

by HPR Contributor

By Scott Eckernotharrisonford@gmail.comOn Wednesday, September 11th the tour of We Will Rock You is coming to BlueStem in Moorhead. We Will Rock You is a jukebox musical based on the music of Queen that originated in West End in…

Stand-up comedy is traditionally a one-way exchange. Outside of the odd question addressed to a random audience member, the limit of the spectators’ contribution to the conversation is their laughter at the comedy stylings being…

If you’re from the region you may have sipped, sampled or caught word of a libation often referred to as “red eye” or “wedding whiskey” at some point. In fact some of our friends of German Russia descent swear by it. If…

Wellness

Yoga on the Farm

by Ryan Janke

Every Thursday evening during the month of June, Mara Solberg is inviting people to come out and try Yoga on the Farm. It is a unique yoga experience that was born from an idea that was proposed to Solberg.“I’ve been with Red…

by Devin Joubertdevinlillianjoubert@gmail.comIt’s that beautiful time of the year that’s filled with seasonal decorations, sparkly lights, warm family gatherings, and delicious feasts. I love everything about this time of the…

“Tell me the company that you keep, and I will tell you who you are.” – Cervantes (Sancho Panza), 1605 “Rocinante (broken down horse; nag) is Don Quixote’s horse in the novel by Miguel de Cervantes. …