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Monday, April 05, 2010

2 fired St. Paul police officers are back on the job, with restrictions

Topic requested...Please click onto the COMMENTS for the story.


Anonymous Pioneer Press said...

Their grievances led to settlements, but with job restrictions

By Mara H. Gottfried
Updated: 04/02/2010 11:41:13 PM CDT

Two St. Paul police officers convicted of misdemeanors were fired from the department, but they got their jobs back under settlements designed to keep them on short leashes for three years.

Adam Siegfried was convicted of disorderly conduct after a bar fight, and Chelsey Christensen was convicted of two hunting violations.

After Police Chief John Harrington sent the officers termination letters last year, the police union filed grievances. The city agreed that the officers could come back under "last-chance agreements." Under the three-year agreements, the city can more easily fire the officers if they commit misconduct.

The cases illustrate the implications for a police department when an officer's credibility is questioned.

Christensen allegedly made a false statement to a conservation officer. She had been a St. Paul officer for less than a year when she was charged, so the academy's lessons about ethics and integrity shouldn't have been far behind her, Harrington said.

"By your actions, you have subjected any future reports or statements that you make to a challenge based upon your lack of truthfulness in this matter," Harrington wrote in her original termination letter.

In Siegfried's letter regarding the bar fight, Harrington wrote that he had violated the public's trust.

"The extensive media coverage" of the case "has adversely impacted your credibility and raised questions concerning your judgment and ability to perform the duties of a police officer," Harrington wrote.

Harrington said "the vast majority" of St. Paul officers don't violate their oath, "but to have even one is, for me, a disappointment in a city that prides itself on having a squeaky clean department."

Both officers declined to comment through Dave Titus, St. Paul Police Federation president. Titus took issue with the original discipline of the officers.

"Termination was not appropriate for either one of these situations," he said.

Titus said the credibility of neither officer had been jeopardized. He said "allegations are made all the time, but it doesn't mean they're true."

But a Minneapolis criminal defense attorney, Jeff DeGree, said, "If a defense attorney can bring it up (in court), they're going to be compromised in any situation.

"Frankly, they're probably not able to be put into positions where they're going to be working alone and having to testify about things that happened," DeGree said.

Siegfried and Christensen had been patrol officers, and Harrington said he wrestled with where to assign them after they were reinstated.

Harrington said he didn't believe he could put Christensen back on patrol because "the credibility issue was right there on front street" in her case, and he assigned her to the research and development unit.

For Siegfried, "it was more about his behavior, about his self-control," Harrington said. He assigned him to the traffic and accident unit, where officers primarily enforce traffic laws and their work is highly measurable.

The Cases / Siegfried, 36, was charged last year with four counts of misdemeanor assault and one count of disorderly conduct after a January 2008 fight at O'Gara's Bar & Grill in St. Paul. Two men who were not officers were allegedly assaulted during the department's Western District holiday party at O'Gara's.

9:55 AM  
Anonymous story conclusion said...

At his trial, Siegfried testified that the incident never happened as prosecutors alleged. He said he told a man who was an O'Gara's bartender, but not working at the time, to leave the private party. He said the man was drunk and had bothered a female officer.

The man left but came back, Siegfried and others testified. When Siegfried began "escorting" the man out, he tripped and fell, injuring himself, Siegfried said. He denied assaulting the man or a friend who tried to help him.

A jury in May acquitted Siegfried of the assault charges and convicted him of disorderly conduct. He was sentenced to one year of probation and 50 hours of community service and was ordered to pay $900 in restitution.

Christensen was charged in 2008 with six hunting offenses, including two gross misdemeanors. Christensen, 27, had been deer hunting in Norman County with her father and her brother, who she was aware "was a convicted felon and prohibited from possessing a firearm," according to an internal affairs memo.

A state Department of Natural Resources conservation officer received information that Christensen's brother had allegedly shot a deer illegally. Christensen initially told a DNR officer she had shot at the deer, the memo said.

She explained in an internal affairs interview that her father and brother had told the conservation officer that she had shot the deer and "she felt kind of cornered because she did not want to see her brother get in any trouble," the memo said.

After a DNR officer asked Christensen to be truthful, Christensen reported she hadn't shot the deer, the memo said. Christensen said in the department interview that she had not tagged, moved or transported any of the deer.

In court, four of the charges were dropped and Christensen pleaded guilty in August of two counts of not tagging a big-game animal, both misdemeanors. She was sentenced to 90 days in jail, which was stayed, and one year of probation and was ordered to pay $1,000 in restitution.

Internal Affairs Probes / Internal affairs investigations into both officers were conducted when the criminal cases ended, and they found policy violations. Harrington concurred and sent a termination letter to Siegfried in October and to Christensen in November.

After the police union filed grievances, Siegfried and Christensen signed "last-chance agreements" with the city in February and January, respectively. Both received unpaid suspensions — Siegfried for 30 days and Christensen for 15 days.

The agreements said they also would not be paid for the remainder of the time they were on leave, before their cases were resolved. Between the suspensions and the unpaid leaves, Siegfried was gone from work for about 16 weeks, losing about one-third of his $67,000 wages in 2009; Christensen was gone for about 10 weeks, losing about one-fifth of her $53,000 wages last year.

Siegfried's agreement orders that he be assessed for "anger management issues" and not enter O'Gara's unless on "official police business."

Siegfried has been a St. Paul officer since 2000. He received three oral reprimands previously — in 2006 for improper conduct related to consuming alcohol on city property (he was one of 25 officers who admitted drinking at the Eastern District station when their shifts ended), and in 2005 and 2000 for preventable accidents. He has at least four letters of recognition in his personnel file.

Christensen became a St. Paul officer in March 2008. She has no other discipline leters in her file and two positive letters.

Mara H. Gottfried can be reached at 651-228-5262.

9:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A Crime has been
Bill Dahn To St.Paul's Police Chief John Harrington
April 6, 2010 and
To Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher

About a beating of a 19 year old Hispanic Orun Cruze
with head injuries and held without charges for
72 hrs. and no "medical care given" at the jail.
He was stopped on foot and harassed at the corner of
Humboldt and Stevens Streets in St.Paul by car #1913 and
He was approached by the St.Paul Squad Car and he produced his ID before being ask.
He was harassed and then beaten and kicked in the head.
after the beating a Hispanic St. Paul Police Sergeant showed up at
the seen, maybe it was Sergeant Art Guerrero.
This all happened on Good Friday April 2, 2010 at 2:00 PM and
held till Monday April 5, 2010.
I seen him and his mother walking to the crime seen and then they
met with me at the St. Mathews Church and we went over the
details and young Mr. Cruze was incoherent -- he was unable to
think or express one's thoughts in a clear or orderly manner:!
His mother Lorain Cruze Obey wanted me "Bill Dahn" to get in
contact with all concerned to bring out the fact that her son was hurt badly by a couple of "white officers" for NO apparent reason.
After speaking with the mother and son for about a half hour she
ask if she could barrow some money for the bus to take Orun to
the hospital.
Mr. Cruze was telling me while in custody that different smells
coming thru the ventilation system was bothering him.
I "Bill Dahn" have CND: Chemical Sensitivities from a head injury
so I drove Lorain and Orun to the "emergency room" at
the United Hospital, he arrived there at about 6:00 PM Monday
April 5, 2010 and registered, so I left the two there in good hands.

Bill Dahn
PO Box 7417
St. Paul, MN. 55107
Ojb-Sioux. #408B19111

8:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Orun 's out of the "hospital", spent the night and out today!
Orun spent Friday about 2:20 PM till Monday's release time in jail with no medical care, "get out of jail free" with NO Charges then entered United Hospital at 6:00 PM Monday, then release today.
Some Easter Orun Cruze had, just because he was on his way to the Library to go online to fined a job!
Their are people in United States that would rather work then just sit around doing nothing all day.

Cruze was Tasered in the back at this incident, A stun gun is much like "electro shock therapy" and some people have die from being tasered.

Bill Dahn

3:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who's going to pay that hospital bill for the illegal?

3:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey jerks, Orun and mother and grandmother were all born in this county, just as you and your ma ma?
Just because he's Hispanic, doesn't mean he is a illegal.

Speaking about illegal people in this country, let talk about "President Obama" is HE a "Legal" U S Citizen?
Are you"
Does anyone know who is going to pay for his Doctor and Hospital bill's?
The tax payer, because of these two DFL UNION COPS roughing this young man up.
this happens way to much and YOU a-- hole tax payers get to pay the bill.
Chuck and Eric will defend these damn cops over riding their authority just because they are backed by the Democ ratic Union, just like the two cops Breaking the rules in this topic.

Your Pain Bill Dahn

7:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bill, I've told to keep my name out of your ignorant spittle dump you call a mouth.

You have bitched about undocumented residents more than anyone. Remember you complaining about them taking jobs? I pointed out how you haven't worked for 20 years? You remember that? You tried to tell us that volunteering is the same as having to work for a living.

I have never supported cops or any city worker found to have abused the system or privilege.

Harrington did the right thing and fired them- especially that thumper from O'Garas.
They appealed, because this is America and were given their jobs back. Harrington then had them assigned to positions that won't have them dealing with the public without a lot of scrutiny. What more do you want.

Did you get the names or badge number of the cops you dummy? Because Bill Dahn is known as the local idiot and letter from him won't get you anywhere. Send them to someone who can really help them beyond a poorly written letter and incoherent babble on a little blog. Unless you want to use them for your own purposes.

Oh yeah- the cops are not DFL union. They formed their own independent union and did not endorse any of the candidates the DFL did.

Try closing your toothless mouth with your worthless words. They aren't helping anyone. Get these people to someone who can really help them.


9:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Eric the dfl cookie.
First this 19 yo. is legal and I am for getting the illegal's out of this country and there will be jobs for our own people.
Next I don't have to like people like Obama, Al Franken, Norm Two face Coleman all democrats.
You know a lot about most things, or are you just faking it?
My e-mail to all about Orun Cruz treatment already started some uneasiness, call Bob Fletcher and ask how far he is on this and the other situation Bill Dahn ask him to do something about last Tuesday?
Did you call Kim Warren at Exxon Mobil 217-371-2696 yet to ask him about the test drilling done on all the acres Koch Oil and Exxon-Mobil Oil and both were partners in polluting the site.
Why was the Jewish Sholom Rehabilitation Nursing Home built on land the couldn't be cleaned good enough for housing, but someone OK' d it for the elderly that can't complain about any environmental smells or illness?

Environmental Protection Agency's has No Final Report yet and the City Hall allowed construction on the koch Oil part of the site.

Anyone out there have the guts to prove Eric wrong about most shit that slides down his fingers to his key board.
He denies that I a poor person because the city turned their back on me about sewer gas & formaldehyde in my home from a local government finance agency's work.

Who has the gut to call

1 Bob Fletcher abut my two complaint in the last week.

2 Kim Warren at Exxon 217-371-2696 about the land & the Sholom Nursing Home.

3 Call Kathy Lantry and see if one of you can get the final EPA Report on the land and then ask "why"
Koch Oil site will be in litigation for another 2-3 years?

4 Then lets get it right about Orun Cruz being brutalized by 2 St.Paul Police officers Friday and help till
Monday and not given any medical care for his injuries, where was the nurse that Fletcher told me and my
cousin about that in now on duty for to make sure people get their med's and insulin so nobody dies in the
Ramsey County Jail again.

Thank you all that cares about others,
we have to many people like Chuck and Eric that don't try to be
anything except greedy and one sided

Bill Dahn

12:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well I guess making any comments about the subject at hand are a waste of time.

2:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

2:40 AM

Why would you say that?

Don't you or anyone care if ours cop are beating people.
Do you all just caring about number one and that's all.

6:21 AM  

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