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Murray County hires interim director of sheriff operations

SLAYTON -- Murray County has hired Mark Nipp as interim director of sheriff operations to manage various operational matters and "protect employees" within the Murray County Sheriff's Department.

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SLAYTON - Murray County has hired Mark Nipp as interim director of sheriff operations to manage various operational matters and “protect employees” within the Murray County Sheriff’s Department.

Nipp, a former police chief in Arizona and independent contractor with Arizona firm Municipal Solutions, will “discuss and address any concerns of harassment or discrimination and may take action to address and remedy the situations as they arise,” the county said in a statement Thursday.

The Murray County Board of Commissioners on May 15 asked Sheriff Steve Telkamp to resign following an investigation that found Telkamp used vulgar language and engaged in alleged workplace harassment.

Telkamp, who has held the sheriff post for the last 16 years, responded that he would not resign and would seek reelection in November. He has already filed for his seat.

Telkamp alleges the board and county staff mistreat his employees and “are causing Murray County to be an undesirable place to work.”

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Last week, the board authorized its personnel committee to work with Municipal Solutions to find an interim director.

“Sheriff Telkamp will retain every law enforcement right he has as your elected Sheriff, but the county is taking as much action as possible, under due process of the law, to protect its employees from hostile conduct and retaliation,” the county said in a statement Thursday.

“There should be common ground we can agree on, including assuring that safety, security and professionalism take place in the workplace. The employees are also members of our community and it is imperative that they are allowed to go about their lives without fear of a hostile conduct and retaliation.”

In addition to managing employee concerns, Nipp will manage various operational aspects at the department including timesheets and days off, employee scheduling, court scheduling and transports.

Edit: Nipp's title was mistakenly titled by the county as interim Director of Sheriff initially. His job title is Interim Director of Sheriff Operations.

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