Eddy County sheriff put on leave

NEW ROCKFORD Eddy County Sheriff Brandon Maygra was charged Monday with Class C felony child abuse or neglect stemming from incidents occurring between the dates of March 25 and June 19 at a home in New Rockford.

The charges were filed in the Eddy County Courthouse, a part of the Southeast Judicial District, in New Rockford.

Information submitted with the filing points to extreme spanking of a 10-year-old boy, his stepson, as the root of the complaint, rather than of a sexual or more deviant nature.

The first instance, according to the information, occurred on or about April 23, which is when the minor child, referred to as “G.G.G.” in the report, claims that Maygra threw another minor child, M.J.M., “across the room onto her bed,” which caused him mental injury, which may be better summarized as emotional injury.

Physical injury came on May 24, according to the report. Maygra was asked by the mother of G.G.G. to drive all the way back home, about 130 to 140 miles, from where he was in Crookston, Minn., to spank the child and “teach him a lesson.” She was offended after she trashed a pizza that the child refused to eat.

It took “a few hours” for Maygra to return home and during that time G.G.G. claims that he “was scared while he sat there waiting.”

Upon arrival, Maygra, the report claims, grabbed G.G.G. and “pulled him off his bed by his ankles and flipped him over onto the floor, and then … used his open hand over the clothing on G.G.G. and struck G.G.G. on the lower left side of his back and G.G.G. said it hurt really bad.”

The child reported that Maygra was upset that he had to travel so far to discipline the child and that he is “the law and” is “able to spank him from breakfast until supper.” Photographs of the child taken by a Crookston police officer revealed a bruise roughly 4 inches by 5 inches on the lower back, consistent with the interview.

“I became aware of it Tuesday,” said Jeffrey Pfau, chairman of the Eddy County Commission, who put Maygra on “limited duties” by that afternoon. He added that Maygra had told the commissioners about it himself on Tuesday morning.

“Basically what happened is we talked to the sheriff and he voluntarily put himself on limited duty,” he explained. “He’s going to come in and do administrative stuff like set” times of duty for his deputies and other tasks, but won’t be directly involved in operations “so we don’t compromise any cases.”

The limited duties will remain in effect at least until Maygra’s initial appearance on Sept. 12.

“So, we’re going to play this by ear,” Pfau said. “If he’s convicted then I’ll request that he resign.”

A call to Maygra’s attorney, Theodore Thomas Sandberg, for comment Thursday was not immediately returned.

The statute against child abuse or neglect can be found in the North Dakota Century Code under Title 14, Chapter 9, Section 22.

The charge, a Class C felony, has a mandatory minimum fine of $525 upon conviction and a maximum of five years in jail, a $5,000 fine or both. The defendant would also have to register as an offender against a child for a minimum of 15 years and a maximum of lifetime registration, pursuant to Title 12.1, Chapter 32, Section 15 of the Century Code.