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Cold Spring seeks dismissal of police chief lawsuit

Cold Spring seeks dismissal of police chief lawsuit

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Eric Johnson(Photo: Kimm Anderson, [email protected])

The city of Cold Spring is asking a Stearns County judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed by Eric Johnson, who was offered the city’s police chief job but never was hired.

The city this week filed more than 100 pages of documents in court asking Judge John Scherer to dismiss the lawsuit or in the alternative limit the amount of "future lost wages" that Johnson can recoup from the city.

There is a hearing scheduled for March 23, when Scherer will hear arguments about the motion. Johnson hasn’t yet filed a response to the motion in court.

He was the police chief in Minneota when Cold Spring made him a conditional offer to become chief of the Cold Spring-Richmond Police Department. Johnson quit his job in Minneota because of the offer and after assurances from Cold Spring City Administrator Paul Hetland that the job was his.

City officials then learned that the CPR and first responder certifications that Johnson listed on his resume were not current. The city voted "no confidence" in Johnson and he never was hired.

Johnson sued the city, alleging a breach of contract, contending the city was negligent when it offered him the police chief’s job then hired someone else. The lawsuit also alleges breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, intentional infliction of emotional distress and promissory estoppel — essentially reneging on a promise that holds the force of contract.


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