Sebeka Police Chief Eric Swenson has been suspended with pay by the city following a domestic assault citation, which may violate Swenson’s probation for a prior misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct.
Deputy Mayor Lowell Stewart said Swenson was suspended on the advice of City Attorney Jeff Pederson until “resolution of the issues that are on the table.”
According to the Wadena County Sheriff’s Office, on May 7 a witness at the Huntersville Outpost bar called the sheriff’s office to report that Swenson was “drunk and belligerent,” shouting obscenities with families and children present.
Wadena County court documents say Swenson was charged with disorderly conduct. He pleaded guilty in June to the misdemeanor charge and was sentenced to 30 days in jail stayed for one year of probation, as well as $190 in fines and fees.
According to Otter Tail County court documents, he was later cited on a charge of fifth-degree domestic assault in an offense allegedly occurring in Blowers Township on June 28. Swenson was released from custody later that day.
Last week, the Seventh District Court issued a summons for Swenson to appear in court to answer allegations that he violated his probation for the disorderly conduct charge.
Swenson is Sebeka’s only full-time police officer, Stewart said. Nonemergency calls to the Sebeka Police Department’s office were being routed to the Wadena County Sheriff’s Office.
An attempt was made to contact Swenson at his office, but he was unavailable due to the suspension.
Swenson was also suspended in 2010 for a week without pay. That suspension followed several incidents that year, including one in which a police report said Swenson responded to a domestic disturbance call smelling of alcohol.