Five months before he was shot to death during a routine traffic stop, Mendota Heights police officer Scott Patrick had filed a lawsuit against the city of Mendota Heights and its police chief, claiming whistleblower harassment and workplace retaliation.
A story first reported by FOX 9 said the suit's origins date to 2008, when Officer Patrick reported two fellow officers moving a picnic table to city hall from the old Lilydale Tennis Club and reported it as a property theft to Mendota Heights Police Chief Michael Aschenbrener.
This embed is invalid
The station reported that Patrick documented what he considered the retaliation that followed, including incidents with his squad car and rat poisoning.
Patrick filed a complaint detailing what he felt were violations. The suit says the chief retaliated against Patrick by issuing him a one-day suspension following an internal affairs investigation into an unrelated 2012 incident, the Pioneer Press reports.
The Star Tribune says Patrick's widow Michelle will take her husband’s place in the lawsuit. A Dakota County district judge allowed it, and the jury trial is scheduled for July 27, just days before the July 30 anniversary of his death.
Aschenbrener and the city oppose her involvement, arguing Patrick’s claims “do not survive his death,” the paper reports.
Patrick had not told his wife about the workplace incidents or the offer he received from the city shortly before he was killed: a settlement, early retirement to leave the department, FOX 9 reports.
Aschenbrener and Mendota Heights Mayor Sandra Krebsbach declined interview requests from the station.
Brian Fitch, Sr., 40, was convicted of first-degree murder for Patrick’s death in February. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
With 19 years of service, Patrick, 47, was the department's most senior officer when he was fatally shot. On May 15, Patrick's name will be etched onto the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington, D.C.