State Board To Discuss Sutherland Police Chief’s Complaint

Sutherland, Iowa — A northwest Iowa city council is accused of violating the state’s open meetings law.
The chief of the Sutherland Police Department has filed a complaint about the Sutherland City Council with the Iowa Public Information Board. Tim Rohrbaugh alleges that the council violated the state’s open meetings law when after a meeting on June 14th, 2016, some members of the city council remained after the meeting was adjourned and engaged in a discussion about him. He says this discussion was not on the agenda.

The Iowa Public Information Board says that on June 27th, the Sutherland City Attorney, William Klinker, filed a response noting that a violation did occur on June 14th. As reported by the city attorney, the council first discussed some concerns about Chief Rohrbaugh during the meeting. This was not on the agenda, but was reported in the minutes. Following adjournment, Klinker says three of the council members met in the parking lot to continue to discuss the city employee.

Klinker indicated that the City of Sutherland will participate in a remediation plan.

The Iowa Public Information Board’s Deputy Director, Margaret Johnson, says she has recommended that the board accept the complaint at their meeting this Thursday, July 21st, which she says is the first step in the process.

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