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Police Commission member resigns after ethics ruling

August 24, 2018

The Rochester Police Oversight Commission is seeking a new member after its vice chairman resigned following an ethics complaint.

Martin Omerichamoi resigned after Rochester’s Ethical Practices Board ruled on Aug. 14 that he violated the city’s ethics code by apparently attempting to use his position for personal benefit.

The complaint stemmed from a May 26 traffic stop by an Olmsted County deputy. During the stop, which occurred outside Rochester, Omerichamoi mentioned his affiliation with the commission that provides community insight on existing and developing policies of the Rochester Police Department.

Omerichamoi also mentioned the commission during phone conversations regarding the traffic stop with Capt. David Satzke of the Olmsted County Sheriff’s Department. He did not specifically request action on the ticket until the issue was raised by Satzke, but Ethical Practices Board members said dismissal appeared to be a goal for Omerichamoi.

With Omerichamoi’s resignation, Rochester City Attorney Jason Loos said the matter will no longer be referred to the Rochester City Council, since the elected body no longer has jurisdiction regarding the complaint.

If the matter had been submitted to the council, potential actions could have ranged from a reprimand to Omerichamoi’s removal from the commission.

Mayor Ardell Brede issued a call for volunteers to fill the open commission seat.

Applications can be made online at www.rochestermn.gov/government/boards-and-Commissions. Rochester residents without internet access can apply at the Rochester Public Library.

Applications are due by Sept. 11.

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