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Published October 02 2012

Fired Clay deputy heads to arbitration

MOORHEAD – After a mediator failed to help the two sides find common ground, Clay County is heading to arbitration with a decorated sheriff’s deputy who is appealing his firing.

Canine handler Ryan Carey was fired in July for reasons county officials and his attorney say they can’t disclose.

A mediation session was held Sept. 6 between county officials and Carey and his attorney.

“That did not really go anywhere, so it will be moving to arbitration,” Human Resources Director Darren Brooke said.

The arbitration will probably last two days and take place in late December or January, Brooke said.

Similar to a court proceeding, both sides will present their cases and the arbitrator will act as judge, deciding whether to uphold Carey’s firing or reinstate him.

“It’s a binding agreement that we both have to abide by, so the arbitrator should be the final say in the case,” Brooke said.

The Minnesota Bureau of Mediation Services will provide seven names of possible arbitrators, and each side will take turns striking a name until the arbitrator is selected, Brooke said.

Carey’s attorney, Isaac Kaufman, general counsel at Law Enforcement Labor Services Inc. in the Twin Cities, said he wasn’t authorized to comment on the grounds for Carey’s firing. Carey did not return a message left on his cellphone Tuesday.

Carey was a Clay County deputy from June 11, 2001, until his firing July 25. He and two other deputies were awarded the Combat Cross in 2009 for their actions during the search for and shootout with Vincent Degidio Jr., who was later sentenced to 29 years for kidnapping and firearms charges. Carey and his K-9, Cuda, also won awards in a 2010 regional competition.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Mike Nowatzki at (701) 241-5528

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