MENDOTA HEIGHTS, Minn. (KMSP) - The Mendota Heights City Council voted 4-1 Tuesday night to terminate the employment of their most senior officer, Sgt. Bobby Lambert. He had been placed on paid administrative leave pending an internal-affairs investigation. Sgt. Lambert was Officer Scott Patrick's partner, who was killed in the line of duty two summers ago.
Dozens of supporters attended the meeting, including Patrick's wife, Michelle.
The decision will go into effect on Wednesday, and Lambert said he plans to sue the city. He said the incident was connected to mistakes he made while investigating a drug-overdose death and was asked to resign but refused.
Some claimed the move to fire Sgt. Lambert has to be retaliation for concerns he has raised about the leadership of this department -- questions 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.