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Officer files grievance against police, city

Farmington police officer Kevin Mincke is a 27-year-veteran of the local force. He’s also recently filed two grievances against the city of Farmington.

Attorney John Fabian of the firm Fabian, May & Anderson said he has filed a Step 1 and a Step 2 grievance with the city of Farmington on Mincke’s behalf. Copies of the grievances were not available at press time.

In a Tuesday email, Farmington city administrator David McKnight wrote, “(T)he only information I can share per state statute is that a grievance exists and the proceedings are pending, any other information is private until final disposition. Other than that the city has no comment.”

Mincke, however, says he obtained Fabian as an attorney in October after being written up for three policy violations stemming from an Aug. 6 incident.

In that incident, a suicidal male called 911 from Rambling River Park and threatened to kill himself and anyone that tried to stop him. Police set up a perimeter around the park. The man left the park in his vehicle and led police on a chase through downtown Farmington. The chase ended in Empire Township when officers used the PIT maneuver to stop the vehicle, but three squads were damaged in the process.

As sergeant on duty when the call came in, Mincke was one of the first to respond to the scene. He stands by the actions and decisions of that day. But, he said, two months later, he was written up.

It was also last fall when the Farmington City Council decided that a police officer position had to be cut for the 2014 budget. Mincke feels he was written up in hopes of convincing him to quit, so the police department did not have to lay off the officer with the least amount of seniority.

Mincke said he and Fabian had hoped to negotiate an early retirement package with the city, but that all three attempts were turned down.

“My attorney and I tried to do this in a civil manner,” he said. “Finally we just had to put them on notice that I wouldn’t just quit and walk away.”

He and Fabian moved ahead with the first grievance after Mincke was demoted from police sergeant on days, to patrol officer on overnights. Mincke said he was demoted on Jan. 6.

It was a step Mincke didn’t want to take, but now intends to follow through to the end.

“I have nothing to hide. In my 27 years here, I have nothing to hide on this,” he said.

The city of Farmington already denied the Step 1 grievance, Fabian said. If the city denies the Step 2 grievance, Fabian will file a Step 3 grievance. If that one is also denied, Mincke has the option to pursue arbitration, according to his attorney.

Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

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