Update: Farmington City Council will vote to terminate Farmington Police Chief, mayor disagrees
Several Farmington residents indicated they will show up wearing black and shades of blue tonight at Farmington City Hall. They will come seeking answers about why Farmington Chief of Police Brian Lindquist will be leaving the city.
More than 2,500 online signatures have been calculated on a Facebook petition via Change.org. called “Stop the firing of Farmington, MN Police Chief Lindquist.”
An estimated 300 residents and police offices may show up at City Hall for the 7 p.m. meeting.
A majority of Farmington City Council agreed to terminate the contract of longtime Farmington Police Chief Brian Lindquist and will vote formally on a separation agreement at the Monday, Aug. 20 council meeting.
The decision was not a firing or a resignation, according to Farmington Council Member Robyn Craig.
“It was not a good fit and we needed a different not style of leadership to move Farmington forward in the direction we are headed,” said Craig.
A majority of the city council supports this decision.
“We would not have done it if the majority was not in support,” Craig said.
Farmington Mayor Todd Larson said he will not vote in favor of the separation agreement Monday night.
“I don’t agree with the decision and it is a split decision now because I am going to vote no,” Larson said.
Farmington City Council agreed to pursue new leadership for Farmington Police Department for various reasons that they did not elaborate upon.
The city reached a separation agreement with Lindquist that ends his employment effective Aug. 24.
Employed with Farmington Police Department for 20 years, Lindquist led the department as the police chief for almost 12 years.
Craig was unable to elaborate on reasons for the separation, but she did confirm this decision has been a long-time in the works.
“I don’t agree with the decision but the majority of the council votes a certain way, you have to go with it,” Larson said.
“I have worked with Brian for 10 years and I never had an issue with him, and he has always been open and honest when I asked him questions and I know sometimes he could not give me information,” for many reasons and perhaps legal reasons, Larson added.
During city council work sessions, council members discussed and stated they wanted to see Lindquist present at more council meetings. Some council members appeared to be blindsided on a couple police department issues in the last year. One issue was the purchase of cameras attached to weapons that were purchased for the police department.
“The city is grateful for the chief’s years of service and dedication to Farmington,” said Farmington City Administrator David McKnight.
Larson touted how the Farmington ranks in the Top 10 safest cities in the state, he said according to different publications.
“That says something to me,” Larson said.
“But I also want to say that I understand my fellow council members and I understand that they want to go in a separation direction, and I am not angry about it and I get it – it is politics,” Larson said.
“We will get through this and move forward and everything is going to work out in the end, just like it always does,” Larson added.
An interim police chief will be assigned to Farmington Police Department and that decision may be announced at the Aug. 20 meeting.
Other Farmington city council members did not return calls.
Lindquist did not respond to a call to comment on the separation agreement.
Lindquist’s employment is effective until Friday, Aug. 24.