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Published February 26 2011

Suit accuses Dorgan of negligence

A Fargo man is suing former North Dakota Sen. Byron Dorgan for $1 million in damages because of alleged “negligence and discriminatory conduct.”

Gary A. Stibbe claims Dorgan failed to help him receive the annual refunds he says he was owed from the Internal Revenue Service.

The lawsuit against Dorgan was originally filed in December in Cass County District Court.

Because the suit involves a federal official, the case was transferred to Fargo’s U.S. District Court on Thursday.

According to court documents entered Friday, Stibbe said staff at Dorgan’s Fargo office had helped him receive his annual IRS refunds during the early 2000s.

When the refunds “did not continue uninterrupted as confirmed” they would, Stibbe sought help from Dorgan’s office.

Stibbe claims Dorgan eventually “informed (him) that since he only had a couple more months in senatorial office that he was not going to do anymore work for (him) in respect to the U.S. government, specifically IRS refund disputes.”

Stibbe is representing himself in the suit and has a lengthy history of initiating civil action.

A search of North Dakota state court records showed Stibbe as a party in nearly 70 civil cases.

Seven of those cases are still open and include three lawsuits against Cass County government.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Shon Hastings is representing Dorgan in the suit. Dorgan retired from Congress in December after 30 years in office.

Neither Hastings nor Dorgan had filed a response to the civil complaint by midday Friday.

But Dorgan told The Forum on Friday afternoon that the lawsuit has no basis in fact.

“This guy is a nut,” Dorgan said. “He’s previously sued his parents for over $60 million. He’s just a nutcase. It’s a nuisance lawsuit. It’ll be thrown out quickly. What he alleges never happened.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter Kristen Daum at (701) 241-5541