Brownsdale police chief terminated

Published 11:30am Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Brownsdale City Council voted unanimously Monday night to fire Police Chief Jason Mindrup.

Mindrup, 42, of Waltham, was charged with criminal sexual conduct on Oct. 30 after receiving a summons but has yet to enter a plea. According to the complaint filed in Mower County Court, a woman accused Mindrup of sexually assaulting her in his truck after leaving a Waltham bar on Aug. 31. Mindrup denied those accusations. According to the complaint, he told investigators the woman asked to go to his house, but he instead drove the woman back to the bar where she had left her phone and purse.

Audience members wanted to find out more during Monday night’s meeting, especially about Mindrup’s employment status.

“They at least owe us that,” one woman said while waiting outside of the closed session.

When the public meeting resumed, the council quickly motioned to fire Mindrup. The council listened to a few comments but could not reply with much detail. Former mayor and longtime council member Rob Luthe urged the council to wait on its decision.

“Why doesn’t the council put Jason Mindrup on indefinite, unpaid leave versus just terminating him?” he asked. “To me, you’re saying he is guilty until proven innocent. … I think you’re making a big mistake.”

Mayor David Pike, however, assured the public that the council consulted an attorney regarding the termination.

Mindrup had been on paid administrative leave since early September while the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension investigated. He is scheduled to make his first appearance in Mower County Court next week. He faces felony charges of first-degree criminal sexual conduct — penetration, and third-degree criminal sexual conduct — force or coercion.

Since Oct. 11, temporary Brownsdale officer Tom Brogan has been working nearly full time in Mindrup’s absence, according to Pike. During that time, Brogan has made 13 traffic stops, issued three citations and followed up on residential complaints.

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