Mpls. cop seeking $640,000 in suit over job transfer

  • Article by: RANDY FURST
  • Star Tribune
  • July 19, 2012 - 11:14 PM

A Minneapolis police lieutenant testified Thursday that he wants the city to pay him $640,000 for removing him from the FBI-led Safe Streets Task Force last year.

In the fourth day of a civil trial in Hennepin County District Court, Lt. Andrew Smith said he is seeking $250,000 for harm to his reputation and $390,000 in overtime pay that he will not get over the next 12 years because he is no longer on the task force. Smith was reassigned to oversee the department's juvenile unit and said he was told not to put in for overtime.

He earned $65,865 in overtime in 2010, atop his regular pay of $98,444, before he was transferred. His lawyer, Patrick Burns, produced emails indicating Chief Tim Dolan approved the overtime.

Judge Philip Carruthers is hearing the case brought against the city by Smith and Sgt. Patrick King, who was transferred to the licensing division. Burns said that besides other damages, he will ask the city to pay $80,000 for disclosing to the Star Tribune details of King's overtime pay.

Police spokesman Sgt. William Palmer testified he gave the paper details about King's $65,865 in overtime in a response to a request under the Minnesota Data Practices Act. The act bars disclosure of personnel data about officers who work undercover; Palmer said he did not know King was doing so at the time.

Smith and King say they faced retaliation for their role in an FBI-led corruption investigation of Minneapolis officers. As a result of that probe, officer Michael Roberts was sentenced to a year in federal prison for public corruption and tax evasion.

Roberts, now a private investigator, turned up in the visitors' gallery Thursday. He said Smith and King did little on the case against him and said it was a "lie" they faced retaliation. "All they did was collect overtime," he said.

Dolan and Assistant Chief Janée Harteau, who has been nominated to replace him as chief, will testify Friday.

Randy Furst • 612-673-4224

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