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An ousted Stark County sheriff?: Commissioners request Gov. Dalrymple relieve Clarence Tuhy of his post

It was unclear Tuesday what action Gov. Jack Dalrymple's office would take on a request from the Stark County Commission to have Stark County Sheriff Clarence Tuhy removed from office.

Commissioners declined comment following an executive session Tuesday morning regarding their decision to ask Stark County State's Attorney Tom Henning to file their request.

Although he could not give details, Henning said the commissioners made their request based on the results of a workplace investigation of the Stark County Sheriff's Office.

But Tuhy said Tuesday afternoon that he was unaware the commissioners asked the governor to have him removed from office.

"I didn't know they were doing that," he said. "I was aware that there was a workplace investigation conducted at the sheriff's office, but there was nothing that came out of the report that I'm aware of."

Tuhy said his best course of action is to contact Mike Geierman, attorney for the North Dakota State Lodge Fraternal Order of Police.

When Geierman was contacted by The Dickinson Press about the request, he said it was the first he had heard of the commission's action.

"I don't know what the charges are or what the basis for this is," Geierman said. "We cooperated with the workplace investigation, but I never saw anything out of the investigation, so I can't comment on a next step until I see something. This is a total surprise to us."

The investigation occurred as former employees called the sheriff's office a "toxic environment."

Dickinson City Attorney Matthew Kolling wrote two letters to Henning in 2008, alleging Tuhy was "bullying, intimidating and being verbally aggressive toward employees within the dispatch division."

In February, upon his resignation, former Stark County Sheriff's Deputy Ernie Shear sent a letter to the county commissioners, stating that his issues with Tuhy forced him to leave the department. He urged the commissioners to take action on the situation.

Unrelated to the workplace investigation, in April, the Bureau of Criminal Investigations also began to review a case regarding Tuhy, who was allegedly involved in a theft from the House of Manna in Dickinson, a nonprofit agency that accepts donations for people in need.

The results of that investigation, which is ongoing, have not been released.