Minneapolis Police Chief Tim Dolan says pressure from federal employees cost two officers their jobs.
MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) -
Two high-ranking Minneapolis cops say the department is retaliating against them for uncovering police corruption, and plenty of dirty laundry is being aired in their civil lawsuit.
Five years ago, Minneapolis Police Chief Tim Dolan asked two of his top detectives to look into potential corruption; although, he warned them that the investigation could jeopardize their careers. As it turns it, he may have been right.
The two are both undercover officers, which is why FOX 9 News will not show their faces -- but from all accounts, it appears that the pair are were two of the best it he business until they started investigating their own colleagues.
"There is a cancer growing within the Minneapolis Police Department," said the officers' attorney, Patrick Burns. "They know about this problem, and they haven't done anything about it."
Now, a whistle-blower lawsuit is playing out on the 13th floor of the courthouse, and the top brass in the department are all pointing fingers at one another.
The trouble dates back to the summer in 2007, when a confidential informant came forward to say that half a dozen officers were selling information to gang members. The deputy in charge of that unit -- Deputy Chief Scott Gerlicher -- wasn't happy about that Internal Affairs was apparently bypassed, and the lawsuit claims he's been retaliating ever since.
Officer Mike Roberts was the only cop convicted in that case. He was accused of selling information to a crack dealer for $200.
Yet, Gerlicher allegedly began referring to the two undercover officers as "scammers," accusing them of hiding vehicles and bilking the department out of $60,000 apiece in overtime.
Incoming Police Chief Janee Harteau relieved the two of duty, transferring them both to low profile assignments; although, she admitted that she relied on "rumor and innuendo" in making that decision. She has since blamed Gerlicher for "withholding information."
The FBI also yanked their top-secret clearance.
The pair are not without support, however. On Monday, Deputy Chief Rob Allen blamed Gerlicher for "poisoning the well" in his quest against the duo, calling them "outstanding investigators."
Both of the officers are claiming that they have been defamed, and are asking for about $600,000 in damages.
The Minneapolis Police Department declined to comment on the litigation, but Gerlicher and Dolan are both expected to testify later this week.