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Longtime Crystal police officer fired

For 27 years Rob Erkenbrack says he has proudly served the city of Crystal.

"I've been a good officer," Erkenbrack said from his home Friday afternoon. "I'm loyal to the city. I work hard. I love what I do."

But this past Tuesday, his career came to an abrupt and unceremonious end.

"It hurt a lot and it's embarrassing," Erkenbrack said.

Earlier this month, members of the public rallied in support of Erkenbrack and fellow officer Alan Watt at Crystal City Hall. At the time, both officers were on paid administrative leave -- Watt for allegedly leaving his gun on a desk while in a meeting.

"It certainly isn't the preferred method, but no one has ever been disciplined for it before," Erkenbrack said.

Erkenbrack, who was a police sergeant at the time Watt committed the infraction, said he was put on paid leave for allegedly failing to report the incident.

"There was no comment, no directive as far as exactly what I had done other than they said I had failed to supervise, when I wasn't even there," Erkenbrack claimed.

Ultimately, Erkenbrack said he was fired for talking to other officers about his work status.

"Prior to that they attempted to get me to resign and release them of any liability and I refused," Erkenbrack said.

In the past, Erkenbrack had also raised concerns about the conduct of Chief Stephanie Revering.

"And I think this is just payback for going up against her and the management," he said.

Now, he plans to fight his termination through arbitration and resume employment with the Crystal Police Department.

"I want my job back. I want to be a supervisor for the city of Crystal, and I want to end my career properly," he said.

Twelve News tried reaching out to Crystal city officals for comment. Chief Revering did not return a phone call. Crystal City Manager Anne Norris was out of town for Labor Day weekend. However, both have previously declined comment on the specifics of the case, citing employee data privacy laws.

 
Delane Cleveland
dcleveland@twelve.tv

Aug. 30, 2013

 

 
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