The Cloquet City Council has dismissed a police officer due to allegations of misconduct.
Following more than an hour of closed session Tuesday, June 4, the council voted 4-2 to terminate Detective Scott Holman. Mayor Roger Maki and councilors Warren "Bun" Carlson, Ward 1; Kerry Kolodge, Ward 4; and Lara Wilkinson, at-large, voted in favor. Councilors Dakota Koski, Ward 3, and Steve Langley, Ward 5, were opposed; Ward 2 Councilor Sheila Lamb was absent.
The allegations against Holman weren't available. Cloquet City Administrator Aaron Reeves said Tuesday the issue is a personnel matter and there would be no further comment from city officials.
In March, Assistant County Attorney Jeffrey Boucher provided Daniel Lew, chief public defender for the Sixth Judicial District, a Brady disclosure regarding Holman.
Brady v. Maryland is a 1963 Supreme Court case requiring disclosure of possible material favorable to defendants in criminal prosecutions, including misconduct findings involving law enforcement officers. The disclosure relates to Holman's conduct on social media in July 2017 and an incident in 2004.
Holman received an oral reprimand from CPD Chief Jeff Palmer on March 29, 2018, as a result of comments Holman made on Facebook in July 2017. Holman made comments critical of former Chief Steve Stracek and media coverage surrounding his suspension and the ensuing investigation.
Stracek replaced Wade Lamirande as CPD chief in 2014. In a special meeting called by then-Mayor Dave Hallback on March 16, 2017, councilors voted to place Stracek on administrative leave while they conducted an investigation into a "vote of no confidence" filed by the Teamsters Local 346, which represents CPD officers and sergeants.
After a lengthy investigation, Stracek was exonerated of allegations contained in the letter, but also retired as chief.
In February 2005, Holman was disciplined for missing mandatory firearms training on Dec. 22, 2004. Holman told Lamirande that he was too sick to attend, but was seen later that night consuming alcoholic beverages. Lamirande suspended Holman for one day, with pay, and required him to write a formal letter of apology to the force.
In May, Holman's attorney, Mike Padden of Lake Elmo, Minn., vowed to fight the Brady classification. He contended that Carlton County Attorney Lauri Ketola had a conflict of interest because of a personal relationship with Stracek and should have referred any Brady classification to an outside agency.
Following the City Council meeting Tuesday, Padden texted a brief statement to the Pine Journal saying Holman is considering taking the matter to court.
"Under the circumstances, we will contemplate the immediate commencement of litigation," Padden wrote. "Stay tuned."
Holman is the second CPD officer to leave the force under the cloud of a Brady classification in the last year.
In December, the Carlton County Attorney's Office issued a Brady disclosure for former CPD Officer Scott Beckman, who was found guilty of lying to a superior officer and falsifying a search warrant in 2016. At about the same time, Beckman left the CPD under a separation agreement in which he will continue to be paid through September.
Beckman's departure from the CPD prompted a press release from the County Attorney's Office saying 18 cases involving Beckman were dismissed and another four submitted for review weren't charged. Another 25 cases were reviewed by an outside expert and at least one person, Clarence Lozoya Jr., was released from prison because of Beckman's involvement in the case.