Former Lake Shore Police Chief John Bukovich is suing the city of Lake Shore for $50,000 for accrued vacation and sick time for which he said he wasn't paid.
On Oct. 20, Bukovich made a request to the city for $108,799 in accrued vacation and sick leave. The city declined to pay Bukovich's request, said Teri Hastings, Lake Shore city administrator, because after checking city records it was learned Bukovich was only entitled to about $10,665.
Hastings said that amount was lowered by about $9,608 after the city learned Bukovich failed to notify the city he had been divorced and continued to collect on the family insurance plan.
In the end, the city gave Bukovich a check for $800, said Hastings.
In his complaint, served on the city of Lake Shore Jan. 12, Bukovich stated he had "demanded" the $108,779 and the city failed to pay him. In his lawsuit, Bukovich asked for $50,000 to cover his attorney fees as well as accrued vacation and sick time.
In an answer served Feb. 4, the city of Lake Shore denied owing any more than the $800 it has already paid Bukovich.
Bukovich said it was his attorney, Patrick Krueger, who came up with the initial $108,779 figure and then the $50,000 listed in the lawsuit. He declined to comment on specifics.
"We'll let it work out in court," said Bukovich in a phone interview Thursday.
Representing the city of Lake Shore is Julie Fleming-Wolfe, an attorney with the League of Minnesota Cities.
Bukovich served as Lake Shore police chief for about 20 years. On Aug. 25 the Lake Shore City Council decided against renewing Bukovich's contract with the city.
In October, Itasca County Attorney Jack Muhar declined to file criminal charges against Bukovich for alleged theft and misconduct. Muhar said there was insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Bukovich committed the crimes of theft of public funds and misconduct of a public officer.
Itasca County officials were asked to investigate the allegations at the request of Cass County officials.
In July, Bukovich was placed on paid administrative leave while the allegations were investigated.
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