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No law required Ramsey County Sheriff Jack Serier to live in the county when he was appointed to the office, authorities said, ending a probe prompted by a political rival’s claims.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) looked into the matter when Vadnais Heights Mayor Bob Fletcher filed a complaint about the issue with St. Paul police. The BCA investigated since Serier is a St. Paul police employee on leave from his post with the sheriff’s office.

Fletcher alleged that Serier was living in Stillwater when he was appointed. Serier has maintained that he moved to Ramsey County before the Ramsey County Board of Commissioners appointed him to the post. The board has said it backs Serier’s claims.

Fletcher served as Ramsey County sheriff for 16 years until losing re-election in 2010 to Matt Bostrom. Fletcher is the only challenger running against Serier in this November’s election for sheriff.

The BCA sent Fletcher a letter dated July 2 stating that it was closing its file on his complaint upon legal advice from the Minneapolis City Attorney’s Office. The St. Paul City Attorney’s Office deferred the matter to avoid a conflict of interest.

“Sheriff Serier was an appointed sheriff rather than an elected one and therefore the applicable residency requirements do not appear to apply to an appointed sheriff,” wrote BCA Superintendent Drew Evans.

County commissioners appointed Serier sheriff last year after Bostrom’s early retirement.

Fletcher said Thursday that he accepted the BCA’s resolution, but felt that Serier’s residency was still “unresolved,” and would be a matter for voters to decide.

Chao Xiong