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Former South Dakota mayor charged with triple murder

The former mayor of a South Dakota town has been charged with murder following a triple homicide Monday night in the community he once oversaw, according to the state’s attorney general.

Then-Turner County Sheriff Investigator Jay Ostrem in 2009. Elisha Page/Argus Leader via AP File

Jay Ostrem, 64, has been charged with three counts of first-degree murder and is being held in the Minnehaha County Jail on $1 million cash bail, South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley said in a statement Tuesday.

“There is no further threat to the public,” Jackley said after announcing the arrest in connection with the fatal shootings.

Authorities said the victims’ names were not released because their relatives had not been notified.

Court documents show that Ostrem is representing himself in the legal proceedings.

City records show he became mayor of Centerville in May 2009, and the council accepted his resignation in November 2011.

The document did not indicate the reasons for Ostrem’s resignation.

In July 2010, the city’s former police chief filed a federal lawsuit against Centerville and Ostrem.

The ongoing trial accuses Ostrem of sexual harassment.

“Ostrem also made gender-related comments that were unwelcome and degrading,” the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit alleged that he mentioned menstruation, “men’s work” and the inability of women to be as successful as men.

According to the lawsuit, no disciplinary proceedings or reports were filed against her former boss until she filed a complaint with the state Division of Human Rights in October 2009.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Centerville is about 250 miles southeast of Pierre, the state capital, and has a population of fewer than 1,000 people.