Mendota Heights residents protest police chief

- Some Mendota Heights residents, including the widow of a fallen officer, are calling for a change in leadership at the police department.

They gathered for a small protest near City Hall, trying to draw attention to their cause.

“Everything that's been going on, it all started from Scott,” said Michelle Patrick, widow of Officer Scott Patrick. “I mean, that's my feelings, you know.”

Michelle Patrick reached a settlement last year with the City of Mendota Heights in a civil case that began with her husband.

Scott Patrick filed a lawsuit just four months before he died, claiming whistleblower harassment and workplace retaliation, after he reported two fellow officers committing what he saw as theft.

“I just want the community to be aware that this has been going on for years,” Patrick said. “I want them to be aware of it.”

The group feels that Patrick's friends on the force, like his partner Sgt. Bobby Lambert and Officer Mike Shepard, are being targeted by the chief for speaking up about issues within the department. 

Residents packed City Hall in June, as the city council voted to terminate Lambert. At the time, he said, the situation involved mishandling a crime scene, but felt the punishment was excessive and amounted to retaliation. 

Shepard was placed on administrative leave last week, but Fox 9 has not confirmed the allegations against him.

City Hall was closed Sunday, but Fox 9 did receive a statement from Mayor Sandra Krebsbach:

"The Mendota Heights Police Department is professional and responsible,” she wrote. “ They work as a unit as any good police department does.  We are proud of them and commend them for uninterrupted quality service for the City of Mendota Heights."

The internal investigation into Officer Shepherd's case has yet to be completed. While in Sgt. Lambert's case, an arbitration hearing is set for next month.

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