Council Parts Ways With Longtime Proctor Police Chief

Walter Wobig Served As Chief Since 2002

PROCTOR, Minn. – After serving the city of Proctor as its police chief for more than 14 years, Walter Wobig has been voted out by the city council.

The decision to not renew Wobig’s contract came on a 3-2 vote Tuesday, with Mayor Phil Larson and councilors Troy DeWall and Gary Nowak voting to end his employment.

Councilors Jake Benson and Jim Schwarzbauer opposed the decision to not renew Wobig’s contract.

As for Wednesday evening, there was no clear reason as to why councilors decided to vote Wobig out as top cop of the city with an annual salary of $92,372.

E-mails to city councilors and the mayor were not returned as of 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, except for Councilor Jake Benson.  Benson says he still has no answers as to why some of his fellow councilors and Mayor Larson chose to vote Wobig out.  Benson says there’s no reason Wobig should be out of a job, as he says Wobig has done nothing but improved the police department.

The city’s administrator, Mark Casey, told FOX 21’s Dan Hanger there are no current investigations into Wobig – either internal or external.  Casey did not have an official reason as to why councilors voted Wobig out of his job.

Casey said Sgt. Kent Gaidis, who has been on the Proctor Police Department for than a decade, has been named acting police chief until the Civil Service Commission decides a plan of action for city councilors to follow in the hiring of a new police chief.

Wobig could not be reached for comment Wednesday after a call to his last-known cell phone number.

Wobig is the second city employee, according to the Proctor Journal, to be let go by the largely new city council who took their seats Jan. 1, 2017.    Peter Luke, who told FOX 21 he had been the city’s cable coordinator for more than 20 years, also had his contract not renewed several weeks ago.

Diane Giuliani, chairwoman of the Civil Service Commission, said Wednesday the commission will meet in a week or so to come up with a plan for hiring the next police chief.   She also confirmed Wobig has no open complaints being investigated by the commission.

The city council will have the ultimate vote on the hiring of a new police chief.

The Proctor Police Department is approved for six officers on the force, including a police chief.   With Wobig out, the department now has five officers on the force, including the interim police chief.

According to the Proctor Journal, Wobig, 56, came to Proctor to take the chief position after serving 19 years as a lieutenant with the Kissimmee Police Department.  The Journal also reports he’s a military veteran with the U.S. Army Military Police.

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