Oddly Enough . . .
The first little item this week comes from Newport, MN, a town of about 3,500 people, located on the state line east of St. Paul.
The Star/Tribune reported in two stories on November 19th, about what I can only describe as craziness in Newport. One story ran under the headline
“Blame flies in all directions as Newport orders inquiry into police department”
The story is absolutely unbelievable. The ineptitude and malfeasance boggle the mind. Newport’s Police Chief retired, and the City Council decided to contract out management of the Police Department to the Washington County Sheriff.
When the County Sheriff took over, here’s what he found in the “evidence room” and elsewhere:
Fourteen confiscated weapons were missing
Property relating to 1,138 cases wasn’t tracked
Rape kits were contaminated
A child pornography complaint reported in April languished without action for several months, until Washington County investigators discovered it in September and executed search warrants
An officer was videotaped in the Public Works Director’s office “having a sexual liaison while on duty”
An officer was videotaped – multiple times – entering the City Administrator’s locked office after hours
A barrel that contained remnants of a dismantled methamphetamine lab was found in an unsecured storage room . . .
With evidence from a recent homicide stacked on top.
The defense attorney from that homicide is going to have a field day, and the killer will probably get off. For which the good citizens of Newport can blame their Police Chief, City Administrator, and City Council. In my opinion, in a town that small, every one of the citizens also shares responsibility.
In 2 ½ years, three of Newport’s seven officers have been written up for suspensions. One officer resigned, two ended up receiving unpaid suspensions. The City Administrator asked a Dakota County investigator to look into five officers. Wow! That’s some cop shop.
And no one had a clue about all this?
The Council approved surveillance inside city hall. The City administrator requested surveillance inside City Hall. The Public Works Director asked for surveillance inside his office. And in spite of all this, no one thought there might be a problem?
And you know what’s the worst? According to the STRIB, “Pauline Schottmuller, who was formerly on the council, criticized the sheriff for “disgraceful mud-throwing — so totally unhelpful, it makes Newport look rinky-dink.”
Here’s a news flash for you sister – ‘rinky-dink’ doesn’t begin to describe how Newport looks. Words like borderline criminal, lazy, inept, and irresponsible come to my mind long before ‘rinky-dink’. Oh, and let’s not forget ‘immoral’ for the cop boffing someone in a city office while on duty.
I don’t generally name names in a rant like this, but Ms. Schottmuller’s comments are so exceptionally outrageous that she deserves special recognition.
Newport has one of the most expensive Police Departments per capita in Washington County. If this were NewportUnderGround, I’d be howling for the City Administrator’s firing, and for a recall election to remove every one of the City Council Members and the Mayor.
That kind of stuff can’t happen in Jordan, can it?
The links are here:
Moving south . . .
Shall we talk about Farmington? That bastion of school building cost overruns and questionable executive pay policies?
“Farmington City Council member charged with impersonating an officer”
This little tidbit ran on the 21st. The story says a seated Farmington City Council Member outfitted his car with emergency lights, and is now facing misdemeanor charges after being accused of impersonating a police officer.
Apple Valley police received a report Oct. 26 of a vehicle traveling south on Cedar Avenue that was using blue lights to pull over other vehicles.
The miscreant Council Member “turned over the lights from both the front and rear of his vehicle, and police found a siren and public-address box similar to those used in squad cars. (the accused), who is a therapist, said he uses the lights when responding to “suicidal situations,” according to the complaint.
First of all, Apple Valley is not Farmington, and the cops there are not likely to cut some slack for an outsider.
Second, I think the sight of one’s therapist arriving on the scene with red/blue flashing lights and a siren would probably be enough to make a depressed person jump off the bridge.
And once again, a knuckle-headed comment, this time from the Mayor of Farmington: “All I’m telling people is it’s a personal matter with (the accused),” he said. “And it really doesn’t affect the city.”
Ahem. Having an idiot on the Council sure does affect the City, Mr. Mayor. Especially if the idiot is so full of himself that he thinks he can break the law.
I would posit that Farmington is ripe for anarchy. The people there probably are pretty sick of government by now.
In politics stupidity is not a handicap.