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Union files a grievance in Purvis case

By Staff | May 4, 2014

A police labor union has filed a grievance for improper termination of a Blue Earth police officer, it was reported last week.

This, despite the fact the city of Blue Earth has yet to acknowledge that officer Todd Purvis has been fired as an employee of the city.

The city of Blue Earth began an internal investigation into several accusations against officer Purvis back in January of this year. At that time, Purvis was placed on paid administrative leave.

Since that time the Blue Earth City Council has held numerous closed sessions concerning the investigation into the accusations.

Those accusations were obtained by the Faribault County Register and other area news media under a public data request.

The accusations involve three possible violations of the city’s policies.

One was regarding “sexual harassment via verbal or other physical conduct or communication of a sexual nature with a minor on more than one occasion over the last year.”

Another was an accusation of “lewd or indecent exposure on more than one occasion over the past year.”

The third was “misuse of personal cell phone for personal purposes during work hours.”

A separate criminal investigation into the accusations was launched by the Faribault County Sheriff’s office in January. It was conducted by the Cottonwood County attorney’s office.

That investigation ended with the county attorney’s office in Cottonwood County declining to file any criminal charges against officer Purvis.

A spokesman for the Law Enforcement Labor Services, Minnesota police officer labor union, says the grievance is in a preliminary phase and no arbitrator has been selected, according to an article in the Mankato Free Press this past week. Blue Earth city attorney David Frundt told the Register he was unable to make any comments on the Purvis case at this time, because of state laws regulating this information.

However, after a closed session at the last Blue Earth City Council meeting, on April 21, Frundt reported that during the closed session “staff had updated the council on the status of issues concerning officer Purvis’s employment and no action was taken.”