NAPOLEON, N.D. - A funeral was held Tuesday, May 2, for a former Napoleon police officer who killed himself about two months after he was fired under controversial circumstances.
The officer, 31-year-old Nathan Weber, was a husband and father of three who lived in Napoleon, a Logan County town of roughly 800 people in south-central North Dakota.
Weber and James Waldo, Napoleon's police chief at the time, were both fired in February after receiving negative job performance reviews from Mayor Todd Moos.
Weber died April 26. The next day, his mother posted a scathing statement on Facebook, calling the mayor's issues with Weber and Waldo "trumped up charges."
"Your city should not only be held accountable for the wrongful termination of two upstanding officers but also as a contributing factor in the death of Officer Nathan Weber," Linda Weber wrote.
In a Feb. 7 letter, Moos told Weber the city intended to fire him. Moos wrote that in July, he had given Weber a list of changes to make in his work, including requesting vacation a month in advance, keeping a daily log, responding to ambulance calls in the city and monitoring the school in the morning.
"You have failed to adhere to these changes," the mayor's letter said.
Moos wrote that residents had complained about Weber, saying that he was aggressive and confrontational while making traffic stops. "It has been conveyed to me by various members of our community that the public no longer trusts the City Police Department," the mayor wrote.
Weber and Waldo subsequently filed a defamation suit against the city in Logan County District Court, asserting that Moos' complaints against them lacked merit.
The suit says that in job performance reviews, Moos falsely accused Weber and Waldo of lying, holding up paperwork and sending cases to city court that should have gone to district court. The suit notes that Moos gave the officers low marks in reviews, while other city officials gave them high marks.
The city has filed a response to the suit, denying that it defamed Waldo and Weber.
Waldo is seeking over $150,000 in damages, and Weber was seeking over $100,000. Both men were asking that the negative reviews be removed from their personnel files. How Weber's death will affect the ongoing lawsuit is unclear.
On Tuesday, the Napoleon Police Department referred questions to the mayor, who did not return phone messages. Waldo referred questions to his attorney William Black, who also represented Weber. Black did not return phone messages.
Scott Porsborg, an attorney for the city, declined to comment except to offer condolences to Weber's family. A phone message left for Linda Weber was not returned.
Weber, who grew up in Devils Lake, N.D., was buried there Tuesday. He graduated from Devils Lake High School in 2004, according to his obituary.
Weber attended Lake Region State College and was valedictorian of his police officer training class in 2007, his obituary said. He worked for various North Dakota police agencies before joining the Napoleon Police Department in 2014, city records show.