Virginia Police Chief Takes the Stand

By KBJR News 1

August 16, 2011 Updated Aug 16, 2011 at 7:09 PM CDT

VIRGINIA, MN (Northland's NewsCenter)---Allegations of inefficiency and misconduct against the Virginia Police Chief continued Tuesday, but this time Waldron was able to speak out.

Waldron took the stand to defend himself against allegations that have been made throughout the two trials.

He spent most of the afternoon answering questions about police pension funds, scheduling, staffing and the hiring process.

"You can switch them like half a shift, and it works fairly well," Waldron said, after being asked about a past staffing grievance. "We would call it split shifts, so you work from 7:00 at night until 3:00 in the morning. You take the person from the afternoon shift or vice-versa if you thought afternoon shift would be an issue."

A four month investigation into allegations that Waldron was grossly inefficient in his job were detailed in two thick three- ring binders.

Witnesses testifying often needed assistance in finding the correct complaint.

Emotions in the trial chambers ran high, as witnesses recalled specific examples of the alleged negative management style under Waldron during his time as Chief.

"When I got back there, he had a raised voice and he was upset about the grievance meaning that we had resolved it," Sherry Erickson, Human Resource/Finance and Safety Director said. "Step one was that while he was on vacation slash Moose hunting. He called John a lair, he said that John had promised him three times that he wouldn't interfere with his scheduling."

Erickson says the morale in the workplace has changed dramatically since Waldron has been put on administrative leave.

The decision of whether or not Waldron will be able to keep his job as Police Chief will be made by the commission and is expected to be decided by the end of the month.

Waldron has been on unpaid administrative leave since the beginning of August.

The trial is expected to continue throughout the day Wednesday.

Posted to the web: Jennifer Walch
jwalch@northlandsnewscenter.com