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Former Fargo detective running for Eddy County sheriff

FARGO – For much of the past two decades, he’s investigated serious crimes in Fargo and has even caught a few murderers.

Now, former Fargo police officer Paul Lies is running to be the sheriff of Eddy County, one of the state’s smallest counties.

“I am kind of a workaholic, and you know, running for sheriff has always been something I wanted to do,” since growing up in Eddy County, said Lies, who was a longtime detective in the Fargo Police Department.  

He doesn’t live within the county, but he has placed his home in Horace on the market and hopes to move to Eddy County in the next month.

The North Dakota secretary of state said candidates are required to be residents of the county within 30 days of the general election in November.

Lies retired from the Fargo Police Department on April 25 after 25 years.

His work as an investigator included wheedling confessions out of Gene Kirkpatrick, who contracted with his handyman to murder his widower son-in-law in Fargo in 2009 for custody of Kirkpatrick’s granddaughter, and out of Sergei Carlson, a Fargo 15-year-old who in 2007 strangled his 16-year-old sister.

Lies also counts some struggles among his professional exploits, including a two-week suspension in 2007 for drunken driving.

The recently retired Fargo officer is one of three challengers seeking the job as sheriff in Eddy County, where sitting Sheriff Brandon Maygra is running for re-election while also fighting felony child abuse charges in his own county.

The foursome will square off in a primary June 10, with the top two vote-getters advancing to the general election Nov. 4.

Darryl Bulzomi is a longtime law enforcement officer from near Wimbledon who began his career in New Rockford – the county seat in Eddy County – and served as police chief in Granite Falls, Minn.

Cyril “C.J.” Kalinowski has worked in law enforcement since 1983, and worked as police chief in Ashley before coming to Eddy County, where he worked until 2012 before being let go by Maygra.

County leaders put Maygra on limited administrative duties after being accused in August of spanking a 10-year-old boy hard enough to leave a 4-inch by 5-inch bruise on the child’s lower back.

Maygra said he is not guilty and plans to proceed to trial, set for September.

“A lot of people around here know me and know better that these charges, these allegations aren’t true,” he said.

Lies and Kalinowski said rebuilding trust between the public and the Eddy County Sheriff’s Office was a motivating factor behind their decisions to run.

All three challengers said improving service to the residents of Eddy County would be a major focus of their time in office, if elected.

Maygra said the department is a small one, and that he planned to continue bringing the best level of service he could with the resources available.

Of the three challengers, only Bulzomi said the criminal allegations against Maygra played a role in his decision to run.