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West Fargo's police chief placed on administrative leave

West Fargo Police Chief Mike Reitan on Sunday, March 13, 2016, at the Fargo Police Department headquarters at a press conference held after a round of possibly tainted heroin overdoses was reported. Rick Abbott / The Forum

WEST FARGO—West Fargo Police Chief Mike Reitan is on administrative leave.

West Fargo Mayor Rich Mattern confirmed late Friday afternoon that Reitan was placed on leave by the city.

The move came after the City Commission met with its attorney for more than an hour in a closed-door meeting regarding an "employment matter" Friday, Jan. 13. Notice of the meeting was sent to media outlets less than an hour before it was set to start.

Commissioners left the meeting without voting on any decision. They are barred under state law from voting in a private executive session.

As he prepared to enter the executive session, Mattern said he was closing the meeting for attorney-client privilege. The mayor, four commissioners, city clerk, administrator and human resources director met with City Attorney John Shockley.

After the meeting, officials did not elaborate on the issue discussed and said no vote would be taken Friday.

A couple hours later, Mattern confirmed Reitan was placed on leave. The mayor wouldn't say why the police chief was placed on leave and directed further questions to Shockley. He said the city isn't facing any lawsuits at this time.

Shockley said a vote and further details on the issue may be discussed Monday at the commission's regular meeting, but he could not confirm that Friday.

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