Sheriff says he's given everyone a fresh start, but if they want to leave that's their choice.

Six deputies have left the McKenzie County Sheriff's Office since the sheriff was reinstated two months ago.

Gov. Doug Burgum reinstated Sheriff Gary Schwartzenberger following his removal proceeding on allegations of bullying and retaliation. Deputy David Christensen quit earlier this week along with two other deputies.

Christensen tells the Bismarck Tribune morale has been "extremely bad" and that he plans to file a state labor complaint and pursue a civil lawsuit.

Schwartzenberger says he gave everyone a fresh start after he was reinstated in August. He says if deputies quit the department that's their choice. One deputy decided to retire after 24 years with the department.