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Valley City city attorney claims vindication in local political row

FARGO -- Valley City, N.D.'s city attorney will not be prosecuted on allegations he bought alcohol for minors. The rumors that Russell Myhre had broken the law was part of a smear campaign against three other city officials orchestrated by their ...

FARGO -- Valley City, N.D.'s city attorney will not be prosecuted on allegations he bought alcohol for minors.

The rumors that Russell Myhre had broken the law was part of a smear campaign against three other city officials orchestrated by their political enemies, attorney Joseph Larson II said in January.

"Myhre is gratified that he has been vindicated," Larson said in a statement released Monday.

North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation agents investigated the allegations and forwarded the results of their investigation to Jayme Tenneson, the state's attorney in Nelson and Griggs counties.

On Monday, Larson provided news media with a letter dated Wednesday from Tenneson to BCI Special Agent Ward Williams. Tenneson said he had reviewed Williams' reports and concluded "there is insufficient evidence to obtain a conviction with the standard of proof being beyond a reasonable doubt."

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Larson, who also represented the other three city officials, said Myhre will not provide interviews on this subject.

The allegations were filed in December with the city as part of a request for information by Robert Drake, a local restaurateur and landlord who has clashed with the city officials in the past.

Barnes County Sheriff Randy McClaflin later referred the allegation against Myhre to the BCI. Allegations against the other officials involved various improprieties such as having sex on the job and misusing their powers.

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