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Crosby police officer terminated Monday

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A Crosby police officer was terminated by the Crosby City Council during a closed meeting Monday.

The name of the officer terminated remains confidential, Pat Krueger, city attorney for Crosby, said Wednesday.

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“The time for filing a grievance on the decision has not yet expired and therefore, the matter remains confidential until that time expires,” Krueger said. “If the officer files a grievance, the matter remains confidential until the grievance has been determined.”

Krueger said he was informed by the union counsel that a grievance would be filed Wednesday, but as of 1:30 p.m. had not been filed.

When asked if a grievance would be filed Wednesday, Les Kundo, a business agent for Teamsters Local 346 who represents the Crosby police officers in negotiations, had no comment.

Krueger said when and if a grievance is filed, it could take months to be decided.

The Crosby Police Department has been under scrutiny ever since October of 2012 when the Teamsters Local 346, the union representative of Crosby Police Department sergeants and patrol officers, filed a lawsuit in Crow Wing County District Court against the city of Crosby and Police Chief Kim Coughlin. The Teamsters Local 346 reported it is asking the court to stop what the union says are “rampant abuses of employees’ rights” by Coughlin. The suit was filed and forwarded it to the League of Minnesota Cities to determine which one will pick up the legal matter for the city. Krueger denied the allegations concerning Coughlin.

The issue apparently came to a boil when Crosby Sgt. Jesse Smith, a 12-year veteran of the police department, was placed on paid administrative leave on Aug. 31, 2012, for an alleged misconduct. When the complaint became public, Coughlin declined to name the officer or details related to the alleged misconduct.

The union reported the department’s sergeant was removed from duty for the past two months and faces potential discipline along with two other officers. The other two officers named in the lawsuit regarding the investigations are Officer John Abear and Officer Steven Ringhand.

As of Tuesday, there are seven complaints against officers in the Crosby Police Department. Four of the complaints are against the officers listed in the lawsuit and are pending or still under investigation. The other three complaints are closed, including the one that resulted in an officer being terminated. The other two complaints, one against Coughlin and Police Clerk Dick Ganseveld and the second complaint against Capt. Rick Koop, were unfounded, said Krueger.

Coughlin said, “We have had a lot of help from outside agencies over the past five months. We know it will take a while longer to get everything sorted out, but job one will always be providing great service to the community.”

JENNIFER STOCKINGER may be reached at jennifer.stockinger@brainerddispatch.com or 855-5851. Follow me on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jennewsgirl.

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