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Settlement reached with fired Devils Lake jail administrator

Denny Deegan, left, who was fired from her post as Lake Region Law Enforcement Center Administrator in the summer of 2014, talks as her husband, Paul Deegan, looks on in this 2016 photo. Eric Hylden / Forum News Service

DEVILS LAKE, N.D. -- A former Devils Lake jail administrator has reached a settlement in a federal lawsuit with the facility after she claimed leadership there fired her because she is a woman.

A stipulation for dismissal filed Dec. 31 in North Dakota’s U.S. District Court says the Lake Region Law Enforcement Center and its former operations director Denny Deegan have reached a settlement out of court. The case was terminated Dec. 8.

Court documents do not detail the specifics of the settlement, including how much, if anything, was awarded to the LEC or Deegan. She had sought at least $75,000 in damages.

The lawsuit stemmed from the August 2014 firing of Deegan, who was promoted to the director of operations position in 2013.

While Deegan was on sick leave, the LEC Board voted 5-3 on Aug. 20, 2014, to remove her from the position.

A North Dakota Department of Labor and Human Rights report from August 2016 found turnover during Deegan’s time as administrator was “slightly higher” than the jail’s yearly average and she was performing her work in a satisfactory way. The report also found evidence to support Deegan’s claims that she was fired because she is a woman.

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