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Lanesboro lets Police Chief go


Fri, Aug 1st, 2003
Posted in Features

On Friday, August 25, in a special meeting, the Lanesboro City Council voted to release Stuart Stotts from his position as Lanesboro Chief of Police.

In a prepared statement released by City Attorney, Tom Manion’s office on Monday, “the employment was ended because the City Council of Lanesboro felt that the abilities of Officer Stotts, and the needs of the City of Lanesboro, did not match.”

Stotts, who began work in early January 2003 on a 12 month probationary contract, replaced Police Chief John Tuchek who was convicted of setting an arson fire in April 2002 that destroyed two buildings in downtown Lanesboro. The council had been reviewing Stotts’ performance quarterly.

Stotts came under fire in May when a series of letters to the editor appeared in local papers, including the Fillmore County Journal, questioning the Police Chief’s handling of routine traffic violations. The letters accused Stotts’ of being heavy-handed in how he dealt with violators.

Lanesboro council member Joe O’Connor said that the Fillmore County Sheriff’s Department would provide law enforcement for the community in the short term. The Sheriff’s Department contracts to provide law enforcement for the cities of Mabel, Canton, Spring Valley and Harmony.

O’Connor said that when the city was looking at replacing Tuchek it looked into a range of options, including contracting with the Sheriff’s Department, forming a joint powers board with other communities to provide law enforcment or continuing with their own police department.

“Those options will be revisited again,” O’Connor said. “We want to go through the process, working with the League of Minnesota Cities and the Sheriff’s Department.”

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