The Aitkin Independent Age requested information last week from city administrator Rose Beverly regarding the aborted investigation into a complaint against Aitkin Police Chief Tim Catlin.
Catlin submitted his resignation while on paid administrative leave. Part of the agreement Chief Catlin negotiated with the city a waiver of liability that would prevent him from suing the city in the future.
Catlin was employed by the city of Aitkin for 38 years, and has been chief of the department since 2014. He was also previously an Aitkin County Sheriff, from 1995 through 1999.
Because the city accepted Catlin’s resignation, the investigation was terminated, and the cause of the investigation will not be revealed.
Beverly stated in her response to the public records request by the Age that Michelle Soldo from Soldo Consulting P.C. handled the investigation for the city.
It was revealed that the investigation was started because of a complaint. The scope of the complaint/investigation cannot be discussed because the complaint never had a final dispositon so under Minnesota State Statute 13.43 subd. 2 (b) it is not public.
The investigation began on Dec. 17, 2020, led by Soldo. Council members Kathy Galliger and Amanda Lowe are on the city personnel committee so they did hear a report on the investigation but could not speak about that.
In response to the situation, the Aitkin Police Department is working on implementing a new policy system called Lexipol.
This system allows for more thorough policy training and keeps the officers and the police department up to date with Minnesota requirements.
Beverly is also working to change the pay structure for the police chief position. No other police department personnel were implicated, she said.
Beverly also stated that she found no evidence that Catlin was placed on leave or investigated by the city of Aitkin prior to Dec. 17. She did not state whether he had been investigated by other departments or agencies in the past.
Chief Catlin was contacted for a comment but did not respond.