The Farmington Police Department’s new hire is the same man who was fired by Mendota Heights last year for conducting an improper search.

The city swore in Bobby Lambert, a 20-year veteran of the Mendota Heights Police Department, at Monday night’s City Council meeting.

“We look forward to Officer Lambert bringing his many years of law enforcement experience to Farmington and having a positive impact on our community,” said David McKnight, the city’s administrator.

Mendota Heights fired Lambert in June 2016 after an internal affairs investigation into the mishandling of evidence. Months before, Lambert and two officers responded to a call about a possible drug overdose. Lambert later admitted he made mistakes, including searching the residence without a warrant.

Dozens of people protested Lambert’s firing. Lambert filed a grievance with the state Bureau of Mediation Services.

An arbitrator ruled that Lambert was still in his one-year probationary period as a sergeant so the city could dismiss him. He also said Lambert should have called an investigator to the scene and worn gloves during the search.

The internal investigation — the department’s third in a year — revealed long-standing political infighting at the police department.