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Deputy fired after beating sheriff in primary election

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A South Dakota deputy who was fired after running for Sheriff is looking for work until he can take over the position of the Sheriff he was elected to replace.

Bon Homme County Deputy Mark Maggs defeated Sheriff Lenny Gramkow as the GOP primary winner on Tuesday. Since no other parties filed, that makes Maggs the new incoming sheriff.

Scorned by his deputy and taking advantage of South Dakota’s “at will” employment status, Gramkow terminated Sheriff-Elect Maggs one minute before the polls closed on Tuesday night, with the election ending in 878-331 in Maggs’ favor.

“This letter is to inform you that, effective immediately, you are terminated from the position as deputy sheriff for Bon Homme County,” the notice said. “As of this moment, you are no longer an employee of Bon Homme County. Please turn in all equipment belonging to Bon Homme County by 5 p.m. June 6, 2018.”

While beating the unpopular sheriff was a victory in itself, it presented its own series of issues- Maggs has to make ends meet until January, supporting a wife and four children.


Maggs told the Press & Dakotan that he “would like to speak with the commissioners prior to speaking with any media. It sounds like we may have that opportunity.”

That said, Maggs did note that many locals were outraged by the deputy’s termination and are demanding he get his job back until he can assume office.

“Some of the residents of Bon Homme County have started an online petition in an attempt to have me reinstated as deputy sheriff,” he wrote on Facebook. “The petition will not be necessary. I trust our county commissioners heard your voices (Tuesday) night through the election results, and I also trust that they will stand with my family and I (in) the way you all have and ensure that my family will not be left hanging without an income or insurance.”

Maggs was a BHCSO deputy since 2013, joining the agency a year after he graduated from Penn State.

Defeated Sheriff Lenny Gramkow had no comment on the matter.

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