Jerry Braam, the former Pequot Lakes police chief who was fired Sept. 28, has been named a finalist for police chief in Lewiston in southeast Minnesota.
The Winona Daily News on Tuesday reported Braam was selected as one of five finalists for the chief's position in the city of 1,484 people about 15 miles west of Winona.
It wasn't clear when the Lewiston Police Chief finalists were named. The Winona Daily News reported the city released the names a week after that newspaper made a request for them.
When reached by phone Wednesday, Braam said he learned about opening in Lewiston from a friend and applied for the position in early- or mid-September. Braam was placed on paid administrative leave on Aug. 16.
Braam said Wednesday he wasn't aware he had been named a finalist.
In his statement following his termination as police chief by the Pequot Lakes City Council, he said didn't know what his employment plans would be or if his termination had ended his career in law enforcement.
"It's pretty early in the decision process," Braam said, "but if something comes up that interests me, I'll apply. I always encouraged that with my officers, too, to keep an eye open for opportunities."
The Pequot Lakes City Council met in a closed session on Sept. 28 for the purpose to engage in preliminary consideration of allegations or charges of misconduct of a city employee.
When the council came back into open session about a half-hour after the closed session started, it voted 4-1 to terminate Braam, with council member Tom Ryan opposed. No reason has been given by the city for Braam's firing, and at the time Adams said because Braam was an at-will employee and not under contract, the city wasn't required to release information regarding the complaint against Braam or why the council terminated him.
The Dispatch has argued that there is no at-will exemption in Minnesota state statutes, and as a public employee who was placed on paid administrative leave because of a complaint and then fired, the nature of the complaint and the council's reasons for firing Braam should be made public.
Braam was hired as Pequot Lakes police chief in 2005. Before that he was assistant police chief for the Lower Sioux Community in Morton and worked for the State Patrol.
Officer Kate Petersen was appointed acting police chief while Braam was on leave.
MATT ERICKSON may be reached at email@example.com or 855-5857.
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