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Former candidate Karl charged with felony counts on child pornography charges

Former West Fargo Mayor and City Commission candidate Peter Allan Karl was charged Oct. 18 in Cass County District Court with 24 felony counts of possessing child pornography.

He is currently in the Cass County Jail pending action on the state charges but there is also a possibility of federal charges according to West Fargo Police Department Sergeant Detective Greg Warren.

Karl, 51, was arrested Thursday afternoon by federal authorities assisted by West Fargo Police officials, after being asked to report to the West Fargo Police Department.Peter Karl

Karl is originally from Florida and spent time in New York working with mass transit in Long Island before locating to this area in 2005.

While in New York, Karl was convicted in Nassau County District Court on Dec. 8, 2003, on attempted possession of child pornography charges. He received six years’ probation and was required to register as a low risk sexual offender until Dec. 8, 2018. He officially registered in West Fargo in July of 2007.

Warren said that as a registered sex offender Karl had a West Fargo officer assigned to him to track his activity.

A search warrant was served last week at his residence by Homeland Security officials and a search ensued.

A follow-up investigation into the charges against Karl continues. He remains in the Cass County Jail awaiting a preliminary hearing and/or arraignment on Nov. 12. Warren said at the preliminary hearing it will be up to the state to prove there is enough evidence to move forward with a trial.

Karl ran unsuccessfully for mayor in 2010 and the commission in 2012, garnering 2 percent and 13 percent of the vote in respective races. During his campaign, he touted the value of a community wide monorail system, and his expertise in securing federal funding for mass transit issues.