City officials announced last week that they will begin screening candidates for the position of Police Chief.
Gaylord’s City Council, three months ago, chose to begin the process of terminating Dale Roiger who served as Chief since 2000. Roiger is currently facing charges for allegedly planting a “bug” in the Chamber office in 2007. Council members said that charge and Roiger’s history of misconduct left them no alternative.
City Administrator Kevin McCann, at last week’s City Council meeting, reported that there are 19 people who applied for the Police Chief position. The position was posted in the middle of October.
City Council members directed McCann, interim chief Kevin Guggisberg and the City Attorney to screen the candidates. The goal is to reduce the number of candidates to 6-8, then have council members review applications and determine which candidates will be interviewed.
Council member Brenda Pautsch suggested that the City have someone on the interview panel that has expertise in law enforcement. Other council members agreed and the interview panel established last week consisted of McCann, Guggisberg, the City Attorney and one or two other law enforcement officers. Council members will also be welcome to sit in on interviews, McCann explained.
According to McCann, the Sibley County Sheriff’s Department will conduct background checks on the top candidates. He said the preliminary screening process may be completed within a few weeks.
City Attorney Donald Lannoye reported last week that Roiger and his attorney are challenging the City’s decision to have his position terminated. A panel of impartial citizens will hear the case and either rule in favor of Roiger or the City, Lannoye explained. If the ruling would be in favor of Roiger, he would likely be reinstated as a police officer in the City, according to Lannoye. The City will continue to pay Roiger his Chief’s salary until the issue is resolved.
The court case involving Roiger’s “bug” planting charge began with a settlement conference last week. According to Lannoye, there was no settlement reached. A jury trial is expected to begin in March of 2010, he explained.