Chief Dolan in the Dog Pound

Just over a week ago, City Pages reported that it had been a ruff month for Police Chief Tim Dolan, who was forced to admit to using the police K-9 kennel to board his civilian pooch. The confession came after officers complained to the Police Federation they were tired of grooming the chief's mutt on city time.

Yesterday, the Star Tribune confirmed it: Dolan is in the doghouse.

According to Strib reporter David Chanen, The Dakota County attorney's office is reviewing the charges. This case, and others alleging that Dolan violated data practice laws while testifying about a black police officer, will be investigated by Dakota County, because of a conflict on interest within Hennepin County.

Last month Dolan admitted to city officials in an e-mail that he left his dog Max at the K-9 unit kennel for a week in March. He said he took the complaints against him seriously and said that other department members also use the service for personal pet boarding. In light of the controversy, he agreed to donate $200 to the kennel.

Leaving dogs at the K-9 unit has been common practice at the MPD for some 15 years, says a police department source who wishes to remain anonymous. There are always empty cages available, and usually officers bring their own pet food and toys for the animals while they are away. Even members of the union have boarded pets there, our source continues.

Dolan and Lt. John Delmonico, president of the Minneapolis Police Officers Federation have been at each other’s throats for some time and exposing the chief for something this minuscule was a political attack to damage the chief’s reputation, he says.

Delmonico told the Strib otherwise. He says he's being very earnest in his criticism of the chief.

…[I]n [Delmonico's] 21 years on the force, he couldn't recall a chief under investigation for possible criminal charges.

…"Anything in the department that involves criminal activity or ethics and what the department stands for starts at the top," he said. "These are very serious to me." …

"The current canine staff said they had no documentation of any officers leaving their dogs at the kennel in the last 10 years. This would be like six officers painting Dolan's house while on duty."