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Governor throws out complaint against Stark County sheriff

North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple on Wednesday dismissed a request to oust Stark County Sheriff Clarence Tuhy from his elected position, according to a report released by the governor's office.

Over the course of two days last month, 20 witnesses -- including past and present employees -- testified on allegations that Tuhy had created a hostile work environment, among a number of complaints, in a hearing before William Hodny, a retired state district judge.

Hodny then submitted his conclusion to the governor that there was not enough evidence to support Tuhy's dismissal.

"The governor received the judge's report today and based on that report and the facts of the case, the governor concurs with the judge's recommendation that there's not enough there to warrant the sheriff's removal," Jeff Zent, governor's office communications director, said Wednesday.

"I am very pleased with the report," Tuhy told The Dickinson Press on Wednesday. "From the outset, I did not feel my conduct, as alleged, fell within the parameters of the removal statute. I will continue to work hard for the people of Stark County."

During the hearing, the sheriff faced and addressed allegations over the purchase of vehicles and rifles; employee compensation; background checks; training; the use of Stark County Sheriff's Office resources for personal reasons; the loss of staff; and the hostile work environment

allegations, including his alleged lewd or inappropriate comments.

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

According to the report, Tuhy's manner was sometimes "indelicate," but it states that doesn't justify removal.

Kolling said Wednesday he was not involved in the hearing or other activities regarding those who were seeking his removal from office.

Tuhy said the outcome "reaffirms my faith in the system. I guess we all learned from this."

Asked what he had learned, Tuhy replied, "Everybody's learned from this, and I'm not going to be specific in anything other than that."

Stark County State's Attorney Tom Henning was not available for comment.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.