WDAY: The News Leader

Published August 25, 2010, 08:15 AM

Moorhead's Fire Chief facing official misconduct allegations

Moorhead, Minn. (WDAY TV) - A dramatic turn of events in Moorhead as the city's Fire Chief is placed on paid administrative leave for an indefinite amount of time. Allegations of official misconduct are how the city is describing the matter against Joel Hewitt.

By: Travis Skonseng, WDAY

We are slowly learning new information as to why Chief Joel Hewitt was abruptly put on leave pending an internal investigation. Here's what we know tonight. It involves a criminal case, possibly in the Minneapolis area. Somehow Hewitt is connected.

On Tuesday afternoon, the city put Hewitt on leave. It made him clean out his truck, went to his home to get all that fire equipment, even locked the computer and changed locks to the fire hall. The city may now hire an outside person to investigate. Leaders are being tight lipped.

Many don't know anything about the case since it possibly involves multiple police departments outside our area.

“It's also coupled with a criminal investigation. So we don't know exactly what's going on ourselves because it's within police department work, too.”

The city charter requires the city manager hire and fire employees. If Hewitt appeals whatever decision, the council then decides the outcome. Hewitt has been the full time chief since for about six years. Hewitt had no comment tonight.