Ada police chief resigns, cites 'micro-managing' in scathing letter to city leaders
ADA, Minn. - This city's police chief recently submitted his resignation in a scathing letter, saying he's "worn out from the fighting and disrespect I have been given" by city leaders.
"The micro-managing of the mayor and the council is terrible," Chief Wade Krohmer wrote in his letter, dated Feb. 7. "You hire people to do a job but yet you will not let them do their job because you feel you are more knowledgeable than the employee."
Krohmer, who was hired as chief in 2002, will work his last day in Ada on March 7, the letter states.
Mayor Jim Ellefson said the City Council hasn't scheduled a meeting yet to decide how to proceed with the police chief's position, including whether they'll appoint an interim chief for the city of about 1,700 people.
As for the criticism in Krohmer's letter, Ellefson said, "I really don't want to respond to that."
Krohmer's departure will leave the department with two full-time police officers, one part-time officer and a secretary.
The department's budget for 2012 is $319,727, and Krohmer's salary is $56,374, said Shelley Kappes, city clerk and treasurer.
In addition to his gripe about micromanagement, Krohmer wrote that one of the "most disheartening topics I cannot believe is constantly brought up is the talk about getting rid of the police department" and contracting with the Norman County Sheriff's Department.
Krohmer wrote that it's surprising the subject hasn't come up at a council meeting, "yet when the last election was held, an ex-councilman made it a point to be a topic of discussion with the candidates.
"I can tell you right now, the city would save a minimal amount of money if this was to happen and it would be to the cost of the service to the citizens of Ada," he wrote.
Asked if the council is considering such a change, Ellefson said, "Not that I'm aware of."
Councilman Jim Austinson, who was an Ada police officer for 30 years, the last two under Krohmer, said he considers Krohmer a good friend and his resignation "was a very big surprise to the community and the council."
Austinson said Krohmer "always felt that the mayor has been out to get him."
"I think, as in a lot of cities, he didn't see eye-to-eye with our mayor, or he felt that the mayor didn't like anything he did, either," he said. "There was no terrible animosity, I don't think."
Krohmer was out of the office Thursday and unavailable for comment. A message left on his office phone wasn't returned, nor was a message left on his cell phone by his secretary.
Austinson agreed with Krohmer that contracting for police services would be a mistake.
"I don't think our community wants to lose the control of having our own police department," he said.
Austinson said Krohmer is retiring from law enforcement and taking a job inspecting trucks in western North Dakota. Krohmer's son is a sheriff's deputy in Dickinson, N.D.
In his letter, Krohmer also criticized the council for spending money on an attorney to represent the city in contract negotiations with city union employees. He called the city's first contract offer "a slap in the employees faces."
Ellefson declined to discuss the negotiations, saying, "They're ongoing."
Krohmer thanked "some of the council that has shown me respect and support," but said he chose to resign "after very careful consideration and with a sad heart."
"I know of one person on this board that is probably happy about this but I am worn out from the fighting and disrespect I have been given," he wrote.