Two Cloquet employees accused of wrongdoing by former Cloquet Police Department Chief Wade Lamirande have been exonerated of the complaints by an independent investigator.
Lamirande filed complaints against Cloquet City Administrator Aaron Reeves and Assistant City Administrator James Barclay on Feb. 5. Reeves was accused of mishandling Cloquet's Citizen Advisory Board (CAB), while Barclay was accused of failing to comply with public data requests violating city policy.
The Cloquet City Council ordered an investigation into Lamirande's complaints and retained attorney Michelle Soldo.
Soldo's investigation found no evidence of wrongdoing by Barclay or Reeves. The City Council unanimously voted to take no disciplinary action against either employee.
Ward 3 Councilor Dakota Koski asked how much money the city has spent on the investigation, but Reeves said the city has not yet received a bill.
Soldo is continuing an investigation into two others named in the complaints Lamirande filed in February.
Lamirande also accused current CPD Chief Jeff Palmer of mishandling a complaint Lamirande filed in 2017 regarding harassing phone calls made by members of the CPD to Lamirande and a family member following his 2014 retirement.
Lamirande also accused Palmer of violating data privacy laws regarding a criminal complaint filed by Ward 5 Councilor Steve Langley.
Lamirande filed a second complaint Feb. 5 against Langley claiming he falsely accused him of crimes and engaged in a pattern of intimidation when he contacted Stephanie Hammitt, the interim president of Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College, where Lamirande is the law enforcement program coordinator.
In a second round of complaints filed March 22, Lamirande accused CPD sergeants Tom Hallfrisch and Rick Benko and officers Nathan Cook and Brett Reinsch of violating the CPD's professional conduct policy in September.
A photo of them pictured with then-candidate and former Cloquet Mayor Dave Hallback after the Cloquet Labor Day Parade surfaced on social media. The photo shows Hallfrisch, Cook, Reinsch and Benko posing in uniform with Hallback, who is holding a "Re-Elect Dave Hallback" sign in front of a CPD cruiser.
Lamirande contends the photo violates a rule in the CPD policy manual that states: "Peace officers shall not make endorsements of political candidates while on duty or while wearing the agency's uniform."
Reeves said Palmer would handle the complaint against the officers and wouldn't include the council unless the CAB appeals the decision or it results in termination.