Ross put on paid leave, faces chargesValley City, ND (WDAY TV) - Troubling news today for embattled Valley City Police Chief Dean Ross. This just 24 hours after a judge ruled the city must remove the oral reprimand from his record. The city of Valley City formally filed 18 charges with the city auditor’s office calling for Chief Ross's termination.
Troubling news today for embattled Valley City Police Chief Dean Ross. This just 24 hours after a judge ruled the city must remove the oral reprimand from his record. The city of Valley City formally filed 18 charges with the city auditor’s office calling for Chief Ross's termination. Now on a suspension without pay, Ross's days as police chief could be coming to an end very soon.
Joe Wagar – Vice President, Valley City Commission: “These actions clearly demonstrate the appearance of impropriety, they constitute malfeasance and are clearly examples of continued an ongoing disregard for the legal obligations of a public employee.”
It was a somber atmosphere outside City Hall this afternoon, moments after Ross's supporters erupted in his defense.
Steve Ross – Dean Ross’s Brother: “You guys are completely out of control.”
The charges range from the misappropriation of tens of thousands of dollars of city funds into a local non profit run by the police department, to favoritism among certain employees. But Chief Ross maintains he has done nothing wrong.
Dean Ross – Valley City Police Chieft: “The practices that were set up were set up prior to my administration, so it's a practice that's been going on for years and years and we stopped those practices when we were confronted in '08 and said we don't want to do this anymore.”
Many people still believe this all stems from a personal vendetta against Ross by City Administrator Jon Cameron, a charge he adamantly denies.
Robert Drake – Want to Remove City Administrator: “This is a continued witch-hunt by the city administrator who got blown out of the water because he's overstepping his bounds.”
Jon Cameron – Valley City Administrator: “No there’s absolutely no vendetta. When you see credible information that there's financial mismanagement you have a responsibility to look into that.
Now there will be a hearing on September 19th to address the charges. Ross, witnesses and his attorneys are allowed to be present. At the end of the hearing, the city commission is expected to vote on Ross's job.
Dean Ross: “I've been prepared to be fired for quite a while now, but do I want to be fired, absolutely not. I love the Valley City Police Department and I love the city of Valley City.”
It should be noted that these are not criminal charges, but there is still an ongoing probe into Ross's actions by the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation. If Ross does lose the hearing he has the option of filing an appeal in district court.