MENDOTA HEIGHTS, Minn. - In a 4-1 vote, the Mendota Heights council terminated a suspended police officer during a packed meeting Tuesday night.
Sgt. Bobby Lambert, a 20-year-veteran of the force, was put on paid administrative leave in February for making a mistake during an investigation.
"I have never been a subject of any internal affairs investigation nor have I been suspended," Lambert told the council. "It is true I mishandled a call due to my mistakes but not enough to warrant termination."
Despite many in the crowd of 200 speaking in his favor, the council fired the officer who claimed the action was in retaliation for his 2012 request that an investigation be opened into the alleged theft of a picnic table by at least one member of the police force.
The widow of Ofc. Scott Patrick, Lambert's partner who was killed in in the line of duty, holds a sign of support. pic.twitter.com/eZBPmBnPR3— Adrienne Broaddus (@abroaddus) June 8, 2016
Before being killed in the line of duty, Officer Scott Patrick filed a lawsuit against Mendota Heights and the police chief alleging retaliation for reporting the alleged theft. The city settled the lawsuit with Patrick's widow, who was at the meeting Tuesday night in support of Lambert.
Lambert says he may seek further legal action.