A former reserve officer says the Lewiston Police Department has a serious morale problem in the wake of a recent employee termination and comments surfacing on Facebook.
This morning's Lewiston Tribune reports that the alleged poor morale stems from the Jan. 9 firing of an LPD dispatcher. Deb Klaudt was let go shortly after returning from Portland, Ore., where she had been caring for her husband, who was battling leukemia. Klaudt used 12 weeks of unpaid leave under the Federal Medical Leave Act, but that leave ran out in early December, just before her husband contracted pneumonia and died.
Lewiston City Manager Jim Bennett told the Tribune that Klaudt was not emotionally ready to return to work and the city had no choice but to terminate her.
"I wanted my job, I wanted to keep my job," Klaudt, a nine-year veteran of the force, told the Tribune.
The Tribune reports that the Lewiston Police Department has had other issues "that have plagued the department," including an officer accused of sexual misconduct and another employee alleging that she was a victim of harassment.
Additionally, Matt Hosking, a volunteer reserve officer with the department for seven years, was fired recently for commenting on Facebook in support of Klaudt.