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City has 12 applicants for West Fargo Police Chief job

WEST FARGO — Twelve applicants, including four from inside the West Fargo Police Department, have applied to be the next West Fargo police chief.

City officials refused to release the names of applicants, but did disclose that Acting Police Chief Jerry Boyer was one person who applied.

The Forum plans to seek an attorney general's opinion on the nondisclosure, citing a violation of open records laws, which say applicants for public positions should be disclosed.

Melissa Richard, a spokeswoman for the city, said the city had received 12 applications for consideration by 5 p.m. Friday, April 7, although the application deadline will be kept open until midnight.

Boyer has been serving as police chief since Mike Reitan was fired by the City Commission on Feb. 6.

Reitan, 58, was placed on paid administrative leave Jan. 13 and offered a three-month severance package, which he refused.

City staff made a recommendation that Reitan be terminated due to his treatment of employees and acts of insubordination. Police staff filed complaints against Reitan that said he created a toxic, hostile work environment.

The city plans to review all applications next week before deciding who will be asked to interview. Richard said the commission has not yet decided on a formal interview process or how many candidates will be interviewed.

"They're going to keep an open mind; they're still working out the whole process," RIchard said. "They haven't put any parameters on themselves at this point as to how many they will interview." Richard said the city attorney is still reviewing the applications.

Mayor Rich Mattern could not be reached for comment.

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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