Bonin Leaves BE Police Department
The Blue Earth City Council held a special meeting last Wednesday night, Feb. 13, with but one item on the agenda review the completed investigation into a complaint filed involving police officer Chad Bonin and accept the separation of his employment with the city.
Council members Glenn Gaylord, John Huisman, and Russ Erichsrud, along with Mayor Rick Scholtes and City Administrator Tim Ibisch went into closed session immediately after having opened the meeting, and approximately seven minutes came back into open session.
Mayor Rick Scholtes reported the council had reviewed all the documents but did not take any action during the closed session.
However, Scholtes reported during the re-opened public session that the council needed to make three official motions: to take no further action on the investigation, to accept the separation of employment with Chad Bonin, and to authorize the city administrator and Chief of Police Tom Fletcher to pursue filling the vacancy of a full-time officer.
The council passed all three motions.
According to a separation of employment agreement from city attorney David Frundt, the mutual agreement to terminate Bonin’s contract was official on Feb. 13, which was Bonin’s final date of employment. The agreement also states it is not an admission by employee or employer of any wrongful conduct whatsoever.
“Both parties deny and disclaim any liability to or wrongful conduct against the other or any third party,” reads the agreement.
As consideration for the agreement and release, the city of Blue Earth will be paying all employee earned and accrued benefits including 236 hours of sick leave at the cost of $6,735.44, 47.40 hours of vacation leave at $1,352.79, and 93.37 hours of comp time at $2,664.78.
The separation agreement has not yet been signed by the parties, and therefore has not been final. The parties have negotiated a mutually beneficial agreement for Bonin to separate from his employment with the Blue Earth Police Department, and the City has not acted unilaterally to fire him.
The employer must also continue and pay for Bonin’s current health, dental, and short term disability coverages for three months, ending on May 31 of this year.
Officer Bonin has been with the Blue Earth Police Department since March 27, 2012.
He was placed on paid administrative leave on Dec. 7, 2018, after the complaint was filed and the investigation begun by an outside agency. His gross annual salary is $60,765.12.
Officer Bonin was suspended without pay for three days in June of 2014 concerning a different complaint that was investigated.