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Armstrong chief on paid leave

July 20, 2017
Amy H. Peterson - Staff Writer ( , Estherville News

ARMSTRONG - During a special Armstrong City Council meeting called by three council members on Monday, Rhett Hiney made a motion to place Police Chief Craig Merrill on paid leave until the July 31 council meeting. Patty Thackery made a second and a roll call vote of 3-2, with Nathan Anderson and Dave Grussing voicing the nay votes, secured the decision.

The Armstrong City Council went into closed session June 28 after an investigation into Merrill's taser use and other activities. The council at that time voted to seize the computer and taser of Chief Merrill for investigation.

The July 31 closed session during an already-scheduled council meeting will address the issue and allow for Preston DeBoer of AFSCME (American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees) Council 61 to be present along with Merrill's attorney. DeBoer, on behalf of AFSCME, filed five complaints against the city in May regarding its failure to negotiate with its workers. City attorney Brian Thul filed an answer to the complaints indicating the city denies each and every allegation. The Public Employee Relations Board has yet to set a hearing or take other action.

The Armstrong Journal was first to release this information.



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