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Inver Grove Heights Police Chief Cleared after 4-Month Investigation

August 12, 2016 06:57 PM

The Scott County Attorney will not file any charges against Inver Grove Heights Police Chief Larry Stanger after a 4-month investigation into allegations he tipped off a suspect about a search warrant.

The Dakota County Attorney's Office asked the Scott County Sheriff’s Office to handle the case to avoid a possible conflict of interest.

"It was a very thorough investigation," Scott County Attorney Ron Hocevar said. "Anytime you have an allegation against law enforcement, you especially make sure everything is done thoroughly, openly and transparently."

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The city of Inver Grove Heights put Stanger on paid administrative leave back in April.

Hocevar said a suspect in a Wisconsin theft case told officers he knew the search warrant was coming because he had been tipped off by the police chief, but Hocevar added that the suspect's story changed several times.

“He (Stanger) stated that he did not provide any information to the target,”  Hocevar said regarding the interview with the chief on the allegations. “We were not able to make a connection between the allegations that Stanger provided information about the search warrant."

The suspect’s son and the chief’s son are friends, according to Hocevar; he said both boys declined to speak with investigators.

“The chief will be on paid administrative leave until the city council meets in Executive Session on Aug. 22 to hear about the report and make a determination if they want to do any further investigation,” City Administrator Joe Lynch said.

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS made attempts to contact Stanger on Friday for comment.

The city of Inver Grove Heights issued the following statement regarding the new developments in the case.

“The City has been informed concerning Scott County’s decision not to proceed with criminal charges against Inver Grove Heights’ Police Chief, Larry Stanger. Scott County’s criminal investigation is complete. However, the City will consider whether to move forward with an internal investigation. Details regarding the potential internal employment investigation will not be discussed per Data Practice Act.

Lieutenant Sean Folmar has been acting as interim Police Chief since April 14, 2016. Lieutenant Folmar has been with the Inver Grove Heights Police Department since 1995. He has been a Lieutenant for five years. The Interim Chief will be in place until the matter is resolved.

We assure the community that the Inver Grove Heights’ Police Department continues to have strong respected leadership. Interim Chief Folmar is engaged with the public and staff; he is committed to the safety and protection of our City.”

Credits

Eric Chaloux

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