After nearly 18 years with the Nisswa Police Department, Sgt. Brandon Rothwell was fired Thursday, Nov. 7.
The Nisswa City Council met in a closed session for about 20 minutes that afternoon before reopening the meeting and voting unanimously to terminate Rothwell, who was not present, effective immediately. The council didn’t discuss the reasoning for Rothwell’s termination.
According to the city, a complaint was brought forward against Rothwell regarding allegations of misconduct. An internal affairs investigation was conducted and it was determined that the alleged policy violations against him were sustained.
Rothwell can file a grievance over his termination based on city policy, so the only information that is public at this time is the existence and status of the complaint. After the grievance timelines pass, more information will become available depending on what Rothwell does and the council’s decision.
Rothwell joined the Nisswa Police Department as an officer in January 2002 and was promoted to sergeant in April 2016.
The Nov. 7 meeting was closed for preliminary consideration of allegations or charges against an individual. The state statute cited says the meeting could be closed if the following type of data was discussed: “active investigative data as defined in section 13.82, subdivision 7, or internal affairs data relating to allegations of law enforcement personnel misconduct collected or created by a state agency, statewide system, or political subdivision.”
Subdivision 7 refers to: “Criminal investigative data. Except for the data defined in subdivisions 2, 3, and 6, investigative data collected or created by a law enforcement agency in order to prepare a case against a person, whether known or unknown, for the commission of a crime or other offense for which the agency has primary investigative responsibility are confidential or protected nonpublic while the investigation is active.”
When the meeting reopened to the public, council member Don Jacobson asked: “Was there anyplace in your meeting with him that he said, ‘No, this didn’t happen and nothing is wrong. I didn’t do anything wrong.’”
City Administrator Jenny Max responded: “He has acknowledged the errors.”
Council member Mike Hoff said that showed it was proven.
The council unanimously agreed discipline was warranted against Rothwell based on the facts presented in the closed session, and then agreed on termination based upon evidence presented.