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Dave Olson, Published February 22 2012

Clay County attorney deployed overseas awaits tumor surgery

MOORHEAD – Clay County Attorney Brian Melton, of Moorhead, is in a hospital at a U.S. military facility in Germany for a tumor doctors plan to remove, according to Interim Clay County Attorney Michelle Lawson.

According to Lawson:

Melton arrived at the medical facility Tuesday evening and brain scans revealed a significant pituitary tumor.

Melton’s wife will join him as soon as doctors determine whether they will hold him in Germany, or transfer him back to the United States, possibly Bethesda Medical Center in Maryland.

Lawson said Melton had been sedated due to seizures he was suffering, but he is now conscious and his vital signs and motor skills are good.

However, she said Melton is showing personality changes, including a tendency to be agitated, combative and anxious – symptoms doctors find worrisome.

Lawson added that doctors are checking Melton for possible infections, including encephalitis, but test results were not immediately available.

Doctors plan to remove the pituitary tumor once it is safe to do so, she said, adding it is unclear whether that would happen in Germany or the United States.

Melton is a lieutenant colonel in the Minnesota National Guard and had been stationed in Kuwait.

His National Guard unit is due back in late April or early May of this year.

Melton has been on military leave from his position as Clay County Attorney since March 2011.

It was the third overseas deployment for Melton, the chief legal adviser and top prosecutor for the county.

In past deployments, he served in Iraq from about October 2005 to August 2007. He was deployed in Bosnia from September 2003 to April 2004.