Pequot Lakes police chief fired
Pequot Lakes Police Chief Jerry Braam, on paid administrative leave since Aug. 16, was fired Tuesday.
The Pequot Lakes City Council, following a half-hour closed session, voted 4-1 to terminate Braam's employment with the city, Mayor Nancy Adams said. Council member Tom Ryan voted against Braam's termination. Ryan could not be reached for comment Tuesday night.
Braam was placed on paid administrative leave by Adams on Aug. 16 after Adams said she received a complaint against the police chief. Details of the complaint against Braam have not been released by the city.
Tuesday's closed session, as publicized, was for the purpose to engage in preliminary consideration of allegations or charges of misconduct of a city employee. Though Braam wasn't named in the meeting notice, he was in attendence at the meeting and requested it be closed.
In an interview shortly before closed session, Braam said he wasn't certain he'd be attending because his legal representation, based in the Twin Cities, wouldn't be present. He declined to comment on the complaint against him or about being placed on administrative leave. Braam couldn't be reached following the closed session.
Adams said because Braam was an at-will employee and not under contract, the city wasn't required to release information regarding the complaint against Braam or why the council terminated him.
"When you terminate an at-will employee that employee can be terminated without cause," Adams said. "An employee can be terminated because they are at will, they serve at the pleasure of the council or whomever their boss is."
The Minnesota statute pertaining to personnel data states:
Public data includes the final disposition of any disciplinary action together with the specific reasons for the action and data documenting the basis of the action.
A final disposition occurs when the government entity makes its final decision about the disciplinary action, regardless of the possibility of any later proceedings or court proceedings.
Upon completion of an investigation of a complaint or charge against a public official, or if a public official resigns or is terminated from employment while the complaint or charge is pending, all data relating to the complaint or charge are public unless access to the data would jeopardize an active investigation or reveal confidential sources.
Adams directed all further questions to City Attorney Paul Sandelin. Sandelin couldn't be reached for comment Tuesday.
Braam was hired as Pequot Lakes police chief in 2005. Before that he was assistant police chief for the Lower Sioux Community in Morton and worked for the State Patrol.
Officer Kate Petersen was appointed acting police chief while Braam was on leave.
MATT ERICKSON may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5857