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Published January 17 2013

Arbitrator expected to rule on deputy’s firing by April

MOORHEAD – An arbitrator is expected to rule on the firing of a Clay County sheriff’s deputy by the end of April, the county’s human resources director said Thursday after two days of arbitration.

Deputy Ryan Carey, a canine handler, was fired July 25 for reasons county officials and his attorney haven’t disclosed. Carey appealed the firing.

An arbitration session was held Tuesday and Wednesday involving Human Resources Director Darren Brooke, Sheriff Bill Bergquist and the county’s legal counsel, and Carey and his attorney.

Attorneys have until Feb. 20 to submit their final legal briefs, Brooke said Thursday. The arbitrator then has 60 days to issue a binding decision on whether to uphold Carey’s firing or reinstate him.

Carey joined the sheriff’s office on June 11, 2001. He and two other deputies received 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 in prison for kidnapping and firearms charges. Carey and his German shepherd, Cuda, also won awards in a 2010 regional competition.

Carey took ownership of Cuda on the day of his firing. In September, the dog attacked Carey’s 4-year-old son, leaving the boy with scalp and nose injuries.

Because of the bite incident, the sheriff’s office declared Cuda a dangerous dog under state law. In order to keep the dog, Carey was required to post a dangerous dog warning sign on his property, provide proof of $300,000 in liability insurance and implant a microchip in the dog for identification.

Carey ended up transferring the dog for use at a prison in Delaware, Chief Deputy Matt Siiro said.

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