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Sheriff works to maintain public's trust

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Cavalier, ND (WDAZ-TV)

Maintaining the public's trust.

That's what a county sheriff is working on tonight after several of his deputies have found themselves on the wrong side of the law in recent months.

“We've done a heck of the job out on the streets, but we have had the unfortunate activity,” commented Pembina County Sheriff Terry Meidinger.

Since the fall he has had to launch three internal investigations into his deputies’ actions. The first, a deputy allegedly rolled a cruiser after falling asleep. A few months later another deputy allegedly shoved a woman in a bar while off duty. Both resigned.

“What do we need to do end this business, nobody has the answer because it has just been isolated incidents, people are choosing times not to be thinking when they should be,” said Meidinger.

And then this week, another deputy was placed on administrative leave after his ex-fiancé accused him of beating her up, though new court papers indicated the outside agency investigating the incident questioned the validity of her story, and wanted another agency to review the case even further.

“That will be something that we will be discussing in a department meeting, that we are held to a higher standard and we are going to be highly criticized, way more than the average person ever will, that we do need to watch what we are doing and saying,” said the sheriff.

Meanwhile, the sheriff says this has not detracted from his department's focus, bragging about a series of recent drugs busts and recovering more than $10,000 in stolen goods the other week.

“I know we have talked about it amongst ourselves, what's the answer, and we don't have one because it's just been isolated incidents, not everyday behavior here,” said Meidinger.

Along with the criminal investigation into the recent incident, an internal investigation is also underway.

Both of those could wrap up next week.