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Reader's View: Don’t pay cop, firefighter while on leave

Both have been charged criminally for their behavior, yet we as taxpayers have to continue to pay them an excellent salary and benefits while they sit home on full administrative leave.

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I was really upset to read in News Tribune Executive Editor Rick Lubbers’ Feb. 13 column (“ Local city, county officials' transparency lacking ”) that the city of Duluth continues to employ and pay Duluth Police officer Tyler Leibfried, accused of shooting into an apartment in September and injuring a man inside, and firefighter Conrad Sunde, accused of attacking a woman along a Duluth trail last summer.

Both have been charged criminally for their behavior, yet we as taxpayers have to continue to pay them an excellent salary and benefits while they sit home on full administrative leave.

This is outrageous, especially in light of how the city callously laid off 49 employees in May, leaving them without health insurance or paychecks during the height of the pandemic; city leaders claimed the city budget was in a dire condition.

It also stinks how evasive the city has been in communicating information with the News Tribune, as the column detailed. I'm guessing the reason city administration has been so reluctant is they know it's horrible to keep paying these men.

So why does this continue? I'm sure the citizens of Duluth would prefer their money go elsewhere. And I'm sure there will be giant lawsuits the city will have to cover in both of these cases. Please, fire Leibfried and Sunde already and stop paying them our much-needed tax dollars.

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Karen Mehelich

Duluth


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