Discipline reduced for Mendota Heights police officer

On March 1, 2012, Arbitrator Harley Ogata determined that a one-day suspension related to whether the officer had probable cause to arrest a citizen was excessive under the circumstances, and reduced the discipline to a written reprimand. Though the arbitrator determined that the officer could have done more to diffuse the dispute during a bad-weather roadside stop, the arbitrator felt that only a reprimand was warranted because a reprimand would explain expectations and start a basis for progressive discipline should the behavior recur.

The award is also significant because the arbitrator rejected outright the argument from the union Teamsters Local 320 that the officer’s investigatory interview needed to be recorded.  Attorney Wiley suggests that this arbitration award can help to counter similar union arguments in the future.