Ramsey County Commissioner Ed Brown, who currently chairs the commission, reported that a settlement had recently been reached in a lawsuit stemming from the August 2014 firing of Denny Deegan from the Lake Region Law Enforcement Center.

Ramsey County Commissioner Ed Brown, who currently chairs the commission, reported that a settlement had recently been reached in a lawsuit stemming from the August 2014 firing of Denny Deegan from the Lake Region Law Enforcement Center.

Although the board of the LEC stated its reasons for firing Deegan involved turnover in jail personnel, budget issues like scheduling and excessive amounts of overtime and poor performance as the facility’s administrator, Deegan claimed she was fired unfairly and because she was a woman.

Deegan’s allegations were investigated by the North Dakota Department of Labor and Human Rights. During that investigation tapes from the LEC board meetings were reviewed. Deegan had alleged that inappropriate comments had been made at a LEC Board meeting. In 2016 those investigators determined that the evidence showed that there may have been merit to some of Deegan’s claims of discrimination, despite hearing none of the alleged statements on the tapes of the LEC Board meetings.

Brown, who chaired the LEC Board in 2014, told the Devils Lake Journal that he’d been informed two months ago by the LEC’s lawyer in the case, Howard D. Swanson, of Grand Forks, that Deegan had been pressing for an out-of-court settlement. Deegan originally had been suing for $75,000 in damages.

The Lake Region Law Enforcement Center, located at 222 Walnut Street West in Devils Lake serves Ramsey, Benson, Towner, Eddy and Nelson counties. Members from each of those county commissions sit on the LEC Board of Directors. It houses the Lake Region 911 and Dispatch, The Lake Region Correctional Facility, the Lake Region Reentry Center, the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office and the Devils Lake Police Department.

The LEC, under supervision of these five counties, and administered by Ramsey County is protected by the North Dakota Insurance Reserve. No money from the Ramsey County’s - or any of the other counties’ - budget or taxpayers goes to settle this claim. The settlement, whatever that amount may be, is paid from that insurance fund. Brown stated that he was not told what the terms of the settlement were, only that the case was settled in December 2018.