MENDOTA HEIGHTS, Minn. (KMSP) - Sergeant Bobby Lambert lost his partner in the line of duty nearly two years ago, now a Mendota Heights sergeant, he’s waiting to hear if he still has a job.
Some claim the move to fire Sgt. Lambert has to be retaliation for concerns he has raised about the leadership of this department. Questions which late officer Scott Patrick had also made before he was killed. But a city hall source insists this isn't about some kind of pay back.
Patrick, gunned down in the line of duty, had filed a whistle blower lawsuit against the city that questioned the leadership of Police Chief Mike Aschenbrener, claiming workplace harassment and retaliation.
Fox 9's Tom Lyden obtained Patrick's secretly recorded conversations with the chief before his death.
"You know where I'm coming from. Hopefully not gunning for me and trying to get me fired,” said Patrick in the recording.
“Well if I was gunning to get you fired, you'd already know it,” said Aschenbrener.
The city would eventually settle posthumously with Officer Patrick's widow for $50,000.
READ THIS NEXT: Officer Scott Patrick vs Mendota Heights settlement reached
FOX 9 learned that Lambert, who spoke emotionally at Patrick's funeral with Aschenbrener right alongside, raised the same department concerns as his fallen colleague.
Recently promoted to sergeant and a Medal of Honor recipient, Lambert a 20-year veteran of the department was apparently in a probationary period for his new supervisory assignment when the chief sought to fire him.
A vote of the city council is expected Tuesday night and Lambert is planning to speak about the issue. While some city hall sources claim the two issues are not related, some members of the community are crying foul.
Long-time Mendota Heights resident Beau Heidelberg launched an online petition, alleging retaliation once more.
"There's definitely a chance it's simply politics,” said Beau Heidelberg, a concerned citizen.
"Obviously, as was evidenced with the settlement, there was targeting, harassment, environment of hostile workplace and it continues on, lesson not learned,” said Heidelberg.
Officer Patrick's widow provided a statement about the claims of retaliation:
"The chief wanted Scott to apply for Sergeant so it would be easier to get rid of him. It is exactly what he did to Bobby. It is time for the city to wake up and remove the chief."