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Jail administrator dismissed by board

DEVILS LAKE, N.D. — The Lake Region Law Enforcement Center Board of Directors on Wednesday dismissed embattled operation administrator Denny Deegan effective immediately.

The 5-3 vote came less than a week after the Ramsey County Commission replaced LEC Chairman Bill Mertens as one of its two board representatives with Commissioner Ed Brown. Mertens had voted against the dismissal previously in spite of the majority of commissioners favoring dismissal. Brown voted in favor of the dismissal Wednesday.

The board appointed Ramsey County Sheriff Steve Nelson as interim operation administrator.

Mertens, who attended the meeting, said the board’s decision was wrong.

“I think the board just made a big step backward,” he said. “I think it should have been clear in this meeting, with the reports the staff gave, that the jail is functioning the way it should be functioning. Denny Deegan was doing her job. I think the decision was made before this meeting.”

Deegan did not attend the meeting and was not immediately available for comment.

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