Embattled police chief has day in courtValley City, ND (WDAY TV) - The saga between Police Chief Dean Ross and Valley City leaders has a new chapter tonight. Ross took the city to court to remove a reprimand from his record, it stemmed from him not taking an order from the City Administrator.
By: Todd Kurtz, WDAY
The saga between Police Chief Dean Ross and Valley City leaders has a new chapter tonight. Ross took the city to court to remove a reprimand from his record, it stemmed from him not taking an order from the City Administrator.
The hearing lasted less than an hour, and ended with the judge pushing a ruling back to September 9th. Each side has one point that they're resting heavily on.
The attorney for Chief Ross says the only person with authority to give a direct order to the chief of police is the mayor, so reprimanding the chief for not following an order from the city administrator isn't lawful.
Joe Larson – Ross’s Attorney: "The person who issues the order either has the authority to issue it at the time or does not."
Attorneys for the city say this case shouldn't even be in the hand of the law. The commission already held a 4 hour hearing going over this reprimand and voted 3-2 to keep it.
Dan Gaustad – Defending Valley City: "This court can't come in and become a super city commission and that's what they're asking you to do, they're asking you to become involved in every employee grievance process."
Ross has been on paid administrative leave for 6 weeks now, as an internal investigation continues. He says he's fighting this reprimand to clear it from his record, but no matter the outcome wants to return to his position.
Dean Ross – Valley City Police Chief: "I said before that I was going to resign and quit, I changed my opinion on that, I can build relationships again I’ve built relationships before I’ve built relationships my entire life and I can build relationships with the city again."
Ross says this case is adding to a divide in Valley City. A petition to get rid of the city administrator position prompted a city wide vote coming this October. Ross says that came about before his issue with the city arose, but now this case is adding fuel to that fire.