Termination of Former Litchfield Police Officer Upheld 22 Sep 17

LITCHFIELD — The termination of a former Litchfield police sergeant — who was charged last year with DWI while off-duty — has been upheld.

In the binding arbitration decision published Sept. 5, the West Central Tribune reports it was determined the Litchfield Police Department was justified in firing Bryant Blackwell, a veteran peace officer who had at one time been a finalist for the job of Litchfield police chief.

Blackwell was fired from his job as police sergeant in January as a result of the 2016 DWI arrest.

The Minnesota Teamsters Public and Law Enforcement Employees Union Local 320 filed a grievance on Blackwell’s behalf and the case went to arbitration.

Following a hearing where both sides were presented, the arbitrator, Carol Tidwell, denied the grievance.

Tidwell wrote that the city had “just cause” to terminate Blackwell and that the city did not violate the collective bargaining agreement.