Police officer placed on leave

BLUE EARTH – A Blue Earth police officer has been placed on administrative leave by City Council.

Todd Purvis is on paid leave pending an investigation into allegations, unrevealed at this time.

City Administrator Kathy Bailey declined to comment on the allegations, except to say the investigation is being handled by a law enforcement entity outside Faribault County.

She did speak about the progress of a separate internal investigation, which is to make sure the city has done everything by the book.

“We’re looking for a third party entity to do it,” she said. “We’d like to go outside our normal training area (which includes Winnebago, Fairmont and the Faribault and Martin County sheriff’s departments). We have been contacting people. At this point, we don’t have anybody that’s agreed [to conduct the investigation]. We can go to a private party investigation.”

In a related matter, the council approved hiring part-time officers after discussing staffing and coverage of shifts.

“[Police Chief Tom] Fletcher will use part-timers when possible to replace Officer Purvis,” Bailey said.

Complicating the issue is the fact that a couple of part-time officers recently have taken full-time positions with neighboring departments, Bailey said. There are still six to eight part-timers listed with Blue Earth, but that may not be enough.

“The problem gets to be they’re on numerous community’s lists, so they’re not [always] available,” Bailey said.