Bon Homme County, SD – Bon Homme County Sheriff Lenny Gramkow demonstrated incredibly poor sportsmanship when he fired the deputy who had just beaten him one minute after he lost in a landslide.
Deputy Mark Maggs defeated Sheriff Gramkow in the Republican primary election with 878 votes to the sheriff’s 331 votes, the Dakota Free Press reported.
There is no Democratic candidate, so Deputy Maggs will become the sheriff in January.
But Deputy Maggs may spend the next half a year with no way to support his family.
Shortly after he learned of his defeat, Sheriff Gramkow fired off a letter to Deputy Maggs that informed the deputy that he had been relieved of duty, effective immediately.
The letter was dated June 5 at 7:01 p.m., one minute after the election closed.
“This letter is to inform you that effective immediately you are terminated from the position of deputy sheriff for Bon Homme County,” read the letter that was written entirely in capital letters.
“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. on June 6, 2018,” the sheriff wrote. And then he signed the letter himself.
While now former-Deputy Maggs’ ascension to the sheriff’s job may be a certainty, what happens to the deputy’s income and health benefits in the meantime is at issue.
South Dakota law gives the sheriff broad authority in hiring and firing deputies, according to the Dakota Free Press.
Dakota Free Press reported that there is precedent which supported the sheriff’s power “to employ only those deputies whom he feels can support his policies and goals.”
The newly-elected sheriff-to-be told Blue Lives Matter he was meeting with the Bon Homme County commissioners at noon on June 7 to explore his options.
Sheriff Gramkow did not return Blue Lives Matter's request for comment by the time of this writing.