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Wendy Reuer, Published August 29 2013

Dilworth council extends police chief's probationary period

DILWORTH – The probationary period for the police chief here will be extended by 90 days.

The City Council met in closed session Thursday to amend Josh Ebert’s contract from a probationary period of 18 months to 21 months.

Attorney Kristi Hastings, who represents the city, said the probationary period for Ebert was slated to end Sept. 5.

Ebert started as police chief on March 1, 2012.

Mayor Chad Olson would not say why the probationary period was extended, but said the council and Ebert agreed to amend his contract to extend the probation.

Ebert will be evaluated when the probationary period ends in December.

In December, a number of officers signed a letter declaring they had “no confidence” in the chief.

The officers said he was doing a poor job as chief and raised issues with his performance, including scheduling, planning and budgeting.

Council members met behind closed doors in February to discuss unspecified allegations about Ebert’s performance, but said afterward the allegations were “unfounded.”

Hastings said Thursday no complaints have been filed against Ebert recently.

Ebert could not be reached for comment.

He told The Forum earlier this week that he has met with all of the city’s police officers to discuss their concerns.

Minnesota law requires government boards like the City Council to meet in public, but an exemption to the law allows closing a portion of a meeting to evaluate the performance of an individual subject to the board’s authority.

Olson read the contract amendment after Thursday’s 30-minute meeting. He and other council members did not take questions about the matter.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Wendy Reuer at (701) 241-5530