River Falls settles with former chief

Published 12:37 am Friday, January 20, 2017

The town of River Falls agreed to a settlement with the former chief of police this week.

River Falls Mayor Patricia Gunter said that the city approved a settlement with Greg Jackson for $10,000.

“He asked for more than $26,000,” she said.

Jackson’s claim was that the town owed him additional pay for time spent caring for the police department’s drug dog, as well as overtime pay.

Jackson, who also is a sheriff’s deputy currently assigned to the Drug Task Force, also got the town’s drug dog in the settlement.

There has been ongoing discussion between the mayor, council and counsel for both the town and Jackson since November, when Gunter elected not to reappoint Jackson as police chief. Jackson has served 13 years as chief.

Gunter’s decision was met by a standing-room only crowd at the next council meeting and a disgruntled council.

The council has questioned whether the power to appoint a chief is theirs or the mayor’s.

It was determined that since there was no ordinance on the books claiming that authority for the council, then it was the mayor’s call.

The council introduced an ordinance at its December meeting that would give the council authority to select the next chief.

The question, which continued into the January meeting, was whether if the council sets term limits for the chief of police, if it would apply to new chief Cody Warren.

“(The council) passed a resolution for town attorney (William Alverson) to seek AG opinion on if the council set the term of chief, if it would apply to Cody,” Gunter said.