Griggs County coroner named interim sheriff after sheriff, deputy resign

(Cooperstown, ND) – One rural North Dakota county is without its top cops, after the Sheriff and Deputy Sheriff both have resigned.

The Griggs County Commission, in a special meeting called Thursday, was notified that both Sheriff Michael Beaver and Deputy Sheriff Tyler Rispa had resigned.

“As you understand before, we had the Sheriff resign,” Commission Chairman John Wakefield told Commissioners. “And the deputy was left without a home, basically, so he resigned also.”

He said the state’s attorney in Griggs County, Jayme Tenneson, has been in contact with the surrounding counties and the North Dakota Highway Patrol.

“Upon further consulting, we need to put an interim sheriff in place,” Wakefield said. Area law enforcement, he said, cannot move forward and assume the position of sheriff in the county.

North Dakota Century Code states that the county’s coroner would arise should the sheriff not be able to fulfill his duties.

“We have been in contact with the coroner, and the coroner has agreed to be the appointed sheriff in the interim,” Wakefield said. Griggs County’s coroner is Rick Cushman.

Tenneson told commissioners that there were concerns that lawlessness would begin as of 6 p.m. Thursday.

“I don’t see that happening,” he said. “But I think that the important thing, and the appropriate thing, to do is get a sheriff appointed, and start working in the right direction.”

When reached by WDAY Radio News, Attorney General Drew Wrigley, North Dakota’s top law enforcement officer, had no statement to release on the situation.

WDAY Radio News has reached out to Wakefield for more information on the future of law enforcement in Griggs County.

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