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Newport whistleblower policy follows employee investigation

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Newport whistleblower policy follows employee investigation
Cottage Grove Minnesota 7584 80th Street South 55016

Following a recent investigation regarding possible disciplinary actions against an unnamed Newport city employee, the City Council approved a whistleblower ordinance.

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The language included in the city’s employee personnel policy mirrors the state policy which says no discipline shall be imposed upon an employee who, in good faith, reports a violation to any government body or law enforcement official.

To narrow the scope of the law further, City Council member Steve Gallagher, who proposed the ordinance, added city council members as acceptable persons to which an employee can report a violation.

“I wanted to make sure the employees knew that they were protected and could talk to us,” Gallagher said in an interview. “The state law specifically states the legislative auditor but didn’t include city council members. I want to make sure that they know they can talk to a city council member if (an employee believes) something is going on or something’s not right.”

Mayor Tim Geraghty, who questioned if a duplicate policy needed to be implemented in Newport, was the lone dissenting vote.

“There is no reason not to (implement this ordinance),” said City Attorney Fritz Knaak. “There is always an argument against redundancy, but in this certain situation it’s probably not a bad idea.”

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Emily Buss
Emily Buss joined the South Washington County Bulletin in February 2013. She covers local government in Cottage Grove, St. Paul Park and Newport, along with other general assignment reporting. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communications from Minnesota State University, Mankato.
(651) 459-4629
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