City of Barnum investigates liquor store employeesBarnum City Council members voted on Monday night to proceed with an investigation into an incident at the city’s municipal liquor store.
By: Wendy Johnson, Pine Journal
Barnum City Council members voted on Monday night to proceed with an investigation into an incident at the city’s municipal liquor store. According to Mayor Jason Goodwin, the investigation involves possible employee misconduct. He explained he was on his way to work one morning recently when he discovered the parking lot of the municipal liquor store was littered with garbage. He requested the tapes from the store’s security cameras be reviewed to see if they could lend any further information on how and why the garbage was deposited.
“At the time, we noticed some misconduct that we need to find out more about,” Goodwin said.
Since that time, two employees of the liquor store have been suspended.
Goodwin and Council member Pat Oman, who serve as the city’s Administrative Committee responsible for oversight of personnel and the municipal liquor store, briefed city council members about the incident in a closed session prior to Monday night’s council meeting. Goodwin said there was a full house at the meeting and several community members were given the opportunity to provide input before the council vote.
In subsequent action, board members voted unanimously to proceed with a further investigation and request the cooperation of the Carlton County Sheriff’s Department as well.
Goodwin said he talked with the two liquor store staff members in question later that night and informed them they would have the opportunity to speak on their own behalf at an emergency session of the city council scheduled for Wednesday night (as this issue of the Pine Journal went to press). Goodwin said the two will be given the choice whether to have their comments heard in open or closed session, adding that he would not know the final decision of either until the session was slated to begin at 5:30 p.m.
The investigation comes on the heels of another incident that allegedly occurred at the municipal liquor store a little over a month ago involving allegations against the liquor store manager and her daughter. Goodwin said the case was dropped, however, at the advice of the city attorney, who believed there wasn’t enough evidence to proceed with any sort of charges. The liquor store manager was put on one week’s unpaid leave.