To the Editor: Cloquet is waiting for answers
To the Editor:
I want to preface this letter by stating the Cloquet Police Department has many excellent and dedicated police officers.
All of the rhetoric over the past four months questioning the police and the actions relating to the removal of the police chief by the mayor and city council are directed to the Cloquet police union members and the union leadership who opposed the changes that former Cloquet Police Chief (Steve) Stracek was directed to address by the mayor and city council when he was hired in 2014.
Steve Stracek recently made public the investigator's report to the complaint filed by the Cloquet police union so we are gradually finding out more from that.
However, since March there have been numerous letters to the editor and other requests for answers from the police union, mayor and other city officials. No answers have been provided.
Let me ask the mayor, city officials and police union officials again:
Who exactly filed the complaint with the city and how?
Why was the complaint NOT handled by the city administrator, per standard operating procedure?
How did the complaint end up in the hands of the mayor, who made the unprecedented move of calling an emergency meeting to put the chief on paid administrative leave?
Why wasn't one of the two police commanders made interim chief? Who recommended this?
Why didn't the mayor recuse himself from this discussion since he is a former policeman and the complaint was about the police chief? This is obviously a conflict of interest.
The complaint was found to have no merit. Why wasn't Chief Stracek immediately reinstated? Which people wanted him gone and why?
The investigative report appears to show this about the police complaint: It all started with a lie — and a conspiracy.