Virginia Police Chief Trial Concludes, Decision Not Made

By KBJR News 1

August 17, 2011 Updated Aug 17, 2011 at 7:40 PM CDT

VIRGINIA, MN (Northland's NewsCenter)---Patrol officers, city staff members and council members are finished with their testimony regarding allegations of misconduct and job inefficiency made against Virginia Police Chief Dana Waldron.

A three day civil service commission trial ended today. A decision is not expected until the end of the month.

After nearly three hours of cross examination on the witness stand in his civil service trial Virginia Police Chief Dana Waldron testified that he still wants to remain Chief of Police in Virginia.

Waldron testified that he believes he can repair office morale by rebuilding broken relationships.

Q: You still want to return to work even though officers have testified you've created a work environment that decreased their morale? City attorney Brandon Fitzsimmons asked.

A: Yes, Waldron said.

Q: And you still want to return to work even though officers have testified that your actions have resulted in productivity going down?

A: Yes.

After a four month investigation and two civil service trials a decision has still not been reached on whether Waldron will remain in his position.

Both sides in the case will be required to submit their final arguments to the judge by Aug., 24.

After that, the commission has three days to make its decision.

"We anticipate, because we are going to have the proposals from the two attorneys that decision will be made on or before Aug., 31," H. Jeffrey Peterson, the civil trial judge said.

Virginia Mayor Steve Peterson says the length of the trial has taken a toll on everyone involved, including the city of Virginia.

He hopes both parties have been able to get their point across.

"It's taken a lot of time away from you know the department heads that needed to be involved here, that needed to be doing other work," Peterson said. "I don't' think there are any clear winners in a situation like this."

Waldron has been on unpaid administrative leave since Aug., 1, after rescinding a settlement offer from the city council to end the first trial.

Waldron has been a member of the Virginia Police Department for 33 years working as a patrol officer and detective before becoming chief.

Prior to that he served as Chief of Police in Tower.

Posted to the web: Jennifer Walch