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West Fargo Chief Reitan has until Feb. 3 to decide on severance offer

West Fargo Police Chief Mike Reitan, center, Moorhead Police Chief David Ebinger, left, and Fargo Police Chief David Todd, right, on Sunday, March 13, 2016, at the Fargo Police Department Headquarters after a round of possibly tainted heroin overdoses was reported. Rick Abbott / The Forum

WEST FARGO—Police Chief Mike Reitan has until Feb. 3 to decide if he will agree to resign from his position or ask to return to work.

Reitan was placed on paid administrative leave on Friday, Jan. 13, after some Police Department staff complained about his leadership. Some employees said he created a toxic, hostile work environment.

The city offered Retain a three-month severance package and asked for his signature on the agreement. Reitan earns about $114,000 per year.

City Spokeswoman Melissa Richard said Reitan has nearly a month to decide under a clause that addresses employee severance agreements in the Americans with Disabilities Act. The clause guarantees anyone over 40 at least 21 days to review and decide on the agreement.

Richard said Reitan now has until Feb. 3 to decide.

Reitan said last week that the move to place him on administrative leave was a surprise. He had not been notified of the complaints against him, he said last week.

Reitan has retained a private attorney.

City Administrator Tina Fisk said the City Commission will hold a special meeting on a to-be-determined date to act on the matter.

Wendy Reuer

Wendy reports for The Forum and West Fargo Pioneer, where she is also assistant editor. A University of Minnesota Morris graduate from North Dakota, Wendy started her career in television news and entertainment in Minnesota and at CBS in Television City, Calif. before working at newspapers in Minnesota and North Dakota. 

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