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Clay County superintendent charged with trespassing at former school

38-year-old Ryan Baron was allegedly spotted on surveillance footage inside the Tri County School in Karlstad at 1 a.m. on Oct. 10.

Ryan Baron
Ryan Baron.
Submitted photo
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KARLSTAD, Minn. — The superintendent of the Ulen-Hitterdal School District in Clay County is charged with trespassing at a school where he previously worked as superintendent.

According to a criminal citation, 38-year-old Ryan Baron was spotted on a surveillance camera in the Tri County School at 1 a.m. Oct. 10 in Karlstad, Minnesota.

"It didn't sound like they were actually looking for him. They were investigating something else, and as a result they found him on the footage," said Chief Deputy Matt Vig with the Kittson County Sheriff's Office.

Baron was allegedly in the school building for about five minutes and spent about half of that time in the administration office. When asked if it was known what Baron did while in the office, Vig said, "Well, that's the big question."

"There's the unknown right there," the chief deputy said. "We aren't sure what he really did when he went in there."

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Baron's lawyer, Matt Dearth, said, "It's very possible this is just a misunderstanding that is getting blown out of proportion here."

Police say Baron still had a key to the school and that's how he got in. Even though there's more than 100 miles between his new job and old job, Baron still lives within "walking distance" of Tri County School, where — until a few weeks ago — Baron was a substitute teacher and bus driver in Karlstad.

His lawyer said there is a legal explanation.

"I have some insight into that, it's something I can't really share right now, but I assure you, there is an explanation and it's going to be coming to light," Dearth said.

Baron's lawyer said prosecutors have not yet shared any evidence with him as to why Baron was charged with trespassing, a misdemeanor that has a maximum penalty of 90 days in jail.

"People need to settle down a little bit and not jump to conclusions," Dearth said.

Baron's lawyer did not know the status of his client's job with the Ulen-Hitterdall School District. The school board did not respond to a request for comment.

Related Topics: MINNESOTA
Matt Henson is an Emmy award-winning reporter/photographer/editor for WDAY. Prior to joining WDAY in 2019, Matt was the main anchor at WDAZ in Grand Forks for four years. He was born and raised in the suburbs of Philadelphia and attended college at Lyndon State College in northern Vermont, where he was recognized twice nationally, including first place, by the National Academy for Arts and Science for television production. Matt enjoys being a voice for the little guy. He focuses on crimes and courts and investigative stories. Just as often, he shares tear-jerking stories and stories of accomplishment. Matt enjoys traveling to small towns across North Dakota and Minnesota to share their stories. He can be reached at mhenson@wday.com and at 610-639-9215. When he's not at work (rare) Matt resides in Moorhead and enjoys spending time with his daughter, golfing and attending Bison and Sioux games.
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