August 20, 2014

Commission upholds demotion

By Suzanne Werre

BHG News Service

By a unanimous vote, McLean County commissioners upheld the recent demotion of McLean County sheriff’s deputy Curt Olson at the administrative hearing held Tuesday in Washburn.

Olson’s demotion was upheld, but his salary will not be affected at this time upon the recommendation of State’s Attorney Ladd Erickson, who advised the commission not to make any adjustments to his salary until after Jan 1, when the Sheriff’s Department will be realigned after the election of a new sheriff.

Following the decision, Olson commented.

"Obviously I’m disappointed in the decision," he said. "I still feel that there were mitigating circumstances to this case, and while not every procedure was followed, I thought I was acting in the best interest of the department."

Olson was demoted from his captain position on July 9, following a traffic stop in which a driver suspected of DUI was detained for over an hour on July 4 before he was given a citation.

Sheriff Don Charging, who made the ultimate decision to demote Olson after a discussion and vote by the other department supervisors, said the incident on July 4, along with other "historical events that transpired" prompted him to ask for the demotion.

"I didn’t appreciate the lack of control, the policy violations, the lack of safety, being a supervisor," said Charging.

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