An Iowa National Guard member who spent a year on active duty is fighting to get his job back as a sheriff’s deputy in Pocahontas County. Brian Runneberg of Laurens says he was told he lost his job two days after Christmas. A federal labor official is meeting with the Pocahontas Board of Supervisors to discuss the employee’s termination. Sheriff Bob Lampe says the only reason Runneberg lost his job is because budget constraints forced the department to eliminate a deputy’s position. But Runneberg claims a deputy hired to fill his slot was kept on the staff. Lampe says that is not true. He says a temporary reserve officer was hired to cover some part time hours, but will lose that position when the contract ends on June 30th. Lampe says the elimination of a deputy position has nothing to do with Runneberg’s service in the military. Thirty four year old Runneberg served in the first Gulf War. He was among the soldiers assigned to guard an Army site in Indiana with the 1st Battalion 194th Field Artillery. Lampe says Runneberg had been on the job six months after being deactivated. His unit returned to northwest Iowa on July 26th, 2003.
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