BREAKING NEWS: Tax director leaves county employment

Staff Writer
Devils Lake Journal
Jerry Ratzlaff listens at the Ramsey County Commission's special meeting held at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 28 in the commission's chambers in the courthouse.

Ramsey County Tax Equalization Director Jerry Ratzlaff came under fire at a special meeting of the Ramsey County Commission held Friday morning.

Commissioner Myrna Heisler read an account of an incident she had witnessed where Ratzlaff allegedly threatened co-worker, Steve Moe, with physical harm.

Ratzlaff responded to the allegations and admitted that he had gotten angry and “blew up.”

Moe stated that the incident in question was simply one of many incidents. He claimed there existed a pervasive pattern of “bullying” from the tax director.

After the commission heard all the testimony it was the consensus that something needed to be done about this situation immediately.

The first motion to terminate Ratzlaff’s employment immediately failed for a lack of a second.

As the commission discussed a second motion, that did get a second, Ratzlaff stood up, walked to President Ed Brown and handed him a letter saying, “I’ll make this easier for you.”

Explaining further he said what he handed to Brown was a letter saying he was resigning as of Nov. 1.

This changed the course of the discussion.

After referring to the ND Century Code and the county’s personnel policy manual and conferring with the Ramsey County State’s Attorney, Lonnie Olson, and the County Auditor, Elizabeth Fischer, the motion was amended to allow Ratzlaff to retire, but effective immediately, not in two months.

That vote passed unanimously. Ratzlaff, who had worked for the county for over 30 years, was instructed to clean out his desk of his personal items and to leave the courthouse immediately. A Ramsey County deputy accompanied him to his office to oversee that.

More details on this meeting will be in the front page of the print version of the Devils Lake Journal on Monday, Aug. 31, 2015.