Virgina Police Chief Dana Waldron Resigns

By KBJR News 1

July 14, 2011 Updated Jul 15, 2011 at 8:21 AM CDT

VIRGINIA, MN (Northland's NewsCenter)---Dana Waldron is no longer the police chief in Virginia.

A vote of no confidence from the Virginia City Council left Police Chief Dana Waldron on paid administrative leave since January of 2011.

The civil service commission trial opened briefly Thursday morning only to call a recess—allowing both parties time to meet behind closed doors and come up with a plan to expedite the trial process.

For almost five hours, in a closed meeting, the parties discussed details of a potential separation agreement that would end the trial and end Waldron's position as chief.

"We were a little concerned that with the number of witnesses that the parties had, they weren't going to get finished by tomorrow afternoon," arbitrator, Jeff Jacobs said.

The negotiators came out of the meeting only to call a special closed door city council meeting.

That ended late Thursday afternoon with a unanimous vote to have Waldron step down.

The settlement offer includes a payment of more than $60,000.

Of that, $15,000 would be placed in a health care savings account.

Officials on the council said they believe the separation agreement is in the public's best interest.

Dennis Lindberg, served two terms on the city council and retired in 2009. He said his working relationship with Waldron was good but he thought the civil bring was not a good thing for the public.

"It's bad," Lindberg said. "These things aren't good for anybody. This thing should have been settled a while ago. It's just, when these things go on and on and on, it's not good for anybody."

Under the settlement contract, Dana Waldron will accept retirement and promise never to work for the Virginia Police Force again.

Virginia Mayor Steve Peterson says he believes it's a good decision.

"We've reached a settlement that I think is beneficial to all parties, to the city, to the police department, and we can now move on in a new direction for the city," Peterson said.

A meeting to discuss who'll take over chief of police is expected to be held next week.

Posted to the web: Jennifer Walch