Complaint against officer remains open

Local News

After more than two months, a complaint filed against a Winnebago part-time officer still hasn’t been settled.

“Something is in the works, but I cannot tell you about it yet,” says City Attorney David Frundt. “I do anticipate either calling a special meeting before the May meeting or that the matter will be resolved at the May regular meeting.”

At their Feb. 13 meeting, council members met in closed-session for nearly one hour to discuss whether to take disciplinary action. When the meeting was re-opened to the public, no action was taken.

Instead, a hearing was scheduled and held on Feb. 27 for officer Colton Ryg and his attorney to discuss the matter.

City officials were expecting a lengthy meeting and set aside two hours, however, Ryg and his attorney did not attend.

Again, the council decided not to take any disciplinary action after meeting behind closed doors for 25 minutes.

Ryg has been on the force part-time for nearly a year, starting his employment during Bago Fun Fest last June.

Frundt says Ryg is still working part-time in Winnebago as well as Elmore.

According to a complaint filed on Dec. 18, 2017, by Elmore Police Chief Steve Linde, Ryg entered a hairstyling business in Albert Lea to talk with the owner to find out why his girlfriend was fired.

Ryg reportedly requested a copy of his girlfriend’s personal file, but the employee told him she could not give out the information.

The employee says Ryg told her he was going to file a lawsuit because, “This isn’t right.”

Ryg told the employee he was a police officer, says the complaint, and lifted up his shirt to show her his badge.

“Here is my badge, we will see what happens,” Ryg told her.

The employee says Ryg left the store and sat in his truck with his girlfriend about seven minutes before returning.

According to the complaint, Ryg again requested a copy of his girlfriend’s personal records. At this point, the employee says she felt concerned for her and her co-worker’s safety.

After Ryg left the store, the employee called the Albert Lea Police Department. However, no criminal charges were filed.

On Dec. 11, Albert Lea police contacted the Elmore Police Department by phone and e-mailed a copy of their report.

In a summary by Linde, the police chief says Ryg violated at least three policy principles.

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