Eddie Frizell's bid to unseat Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek last November went down in flames. Stanek more than doubled Frizell's vote total, and the next week Frizell returned to his high-ranking job at the Minneapolis Police Department after taking a six-month leave to campaign.
According to claims filed yesterday in federal court, Frizell arrived back at work to more bad news: Police Chief Janee Harteau told him he was no longer deputy chief of patrol. He would now be the commander of operations, a new position.
Frizell was pissed, telling the Star Tribune he "didn't deserve this."
He claims that after the story ran, Harteau called him on the carpet. She said it was "obvious" he "didn't want to be here" because he ran for sheriff and applied for Maple Grove's police chief job.
His original demotion was rescinded. But he was busted back to lieutenant, the lowest demotion allowed under his union contract. That came with a $16,000 pay cut, dumping his salary down to $106,500.
The suit seeks a return to his original job, lost wages, at least $50,000 in compensatory damages, and another minimum of $50,000 in punitive damages.
Harteau "appointed him as deputy chief," says Natalie Wyatt-Brown, one of Frizell's lawyers. "In fact, she even gave him a commendation in 2013, and as far as he knew everything was fine. He kept in touch with her during the campaign and never heard anything bad from her."
Messages left with the Minneapolis Police Department and on Frizell's voicemail were not returned yesterday.
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