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Published January 12, 2011, 11:08 AM

ND sheriff, county respond to federal lawsuit

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — A longtime sheriff in northeast North Dakota who is the subject of a recall vote and a federal lawsuit is denying claims of wrongful termination and defamation.

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — A longtime sheriff in northeast North Dakota who is the subject of a recall vote and a federal lawsuit is denying claims of wrongful termination and defamation.

Walsh County Sheriff Lauren Wild fired deputy Ron Nord the day after defeating him in the sheriff's race in the Nov. 2 election. Wild says Nord spread lies about him during the campaign, but Nord denies that. He's suing, and opponents of Wild separately have submitted enough petition signatures to force an April 12 recall election.

Attorneys for the county and sheriff in their response to the lawsuit say Nord was an "at will" employee who could be terminated at any time, and that Wild and the county are immune from the claims in the lawsuit.

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