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Internal probe recommended Fargo police lieutenant be fired a day before his suicide

FARGO – The day before Lt. Jeff Skuza killed himself last week, all three of the Fargo Police Department's deputy chiefs recommended Skuza be fired for trying to cover up accidentally discharging his Taser, according to internal documents released by the department Monday at the request of The Forum.

Skuza had been the subject of an internal investigation into the discharge of his Taser and his subsequent cover-up attempt, the documents show.

The recommendation that he be fired came the day before the 47-year-old shot and killed himself with a personal handgun early Tuesday morning in a cemetery just south of the city.

According to an internal investigation report obtained by The Forum, Skuza accidentally discharged his Taser on Feb. 14 in the police department. He did not report the incident for nearly two days and tried to hide that he was responsible, the report stated.

In letters March 10, the department’s three deputy chiefs had recommended that he be fired because of what happened, the report stated. They said they would be concerned about having Skuza, who oversaw patrol operations on the city's north side, in a management position after he brought his credibility and truthfulness into question.

Police Chief Keith Ternes, who signs off on all internal disciplinary cases, had not yet made a recommendation.

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