Gerke stands mute on two charges

ROGERS CITY – A Hubbard Lake man accused of two felonies in connection with a project to renovate a former Rogers City sausage shop into county offices stood mute to both counts.

At his arraignment in 53rd Circuit Court Monday, Kris Kurt Gerke, 33, stood mute to charges of a false sworn statement by a contractor for $20,000 or more, and fraudulent use of a building contractor fund, Deputy Court Clerk Rose Przybyla said, referring to court files. Pleas of “not guilty” for both were entered on his behalf by the court, and the case is set for a docket call on March 24.

If convicted, Gerke could spend up to 10 years in jail for the first charge, and up to three for the second, according to Special Attorney Daryl Vizina.

Dan White, Gerke’s attorney, had said in February he was optimistic about reaching a resolution for the case. He still is, and he and Vizina are working to determine what amount of money should be paid.

“That’s what the parties are doing,” he said Wednesday. “We’ve provided some documentation to the people, and the people are taking a look at it. I remain optimistic that we get the matter settled amicably.”

Vizina, Cheboygan County’s prosecutor who is handling the case on Presque Isle County’s behalf, said a settlement is still possible, but declined to comment on the ongoing case beyond that.

Jordan Travis can be reached via email at jtravis@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5688. Follow Jordan on Twitter @jt_alpenanews. Read his blog, A Snowball’s Chance, at www.thealpenanews.com.