A Mankato police officer is suspended without pay for 60 days for a hit and run incident that happened back in May.
An internal investigation by the Mankato Department of Public Safety found that Officer Ken Baker fled the scene on foot after striking a retaining wall near Highland Park, damaging two nearby cars, on May 27th.
The case had already been handled by the courts, after Baker pleaded guilty to careless driving back in June, and was put on probation for a year, and ordered to pay $1800 dollars in restitution.
But his role as a police officer carries extra weight, even if the misconduct took place while Baker was off–duty.
Mankato Department of Public Safety Director Todd Miller says, "I will hold my staff and myself to a higher standard, definitely."
That higher standard prompts a 60–day suspension as part of a "last chance" agreement that Baker will need to follow in order to keep his job.
Miller says, "Should he not complete the items outlined in that last chance, or should there be an occurrence of any like or similar instances, that will result in termination."
In an apology written to city manager Patrick Hentges, and released by the city, Baker apologizes to all who were involved, saying quote... I have caused embarrassment to not only myself, but to the Department of Public Safety as well as the City of Mankato." End quote.
Miller says, "He violated that trust and is going to make a commitment to earn that trust back, both within the organization and within the community. We're human beings, we can give him that opportunity to do so, but should that happen again, that's not something that we, that I as a public safety director will put up with."
Baker's suspension will end September 5th.
The "last chance" agreement will be in effect for the next five years.