Lanesboro police officer turns down chief's job

By Lanier Frush Holt

LANESBORO -- Police Lt. Michael Cherney has said no to an offer to become the city's police chief saying, among other things, that the salary is too low.

Cherney, who remains the city's highest-ranking officer since the former police chief was arrested on suspicion of arson, laid out his reasons for rejecting in a letter to the city council.

"I have concluded that the monetary compensation and some other factors do not reflect appropriately for a professional officer with the years of experience, knowledge and training that I possess," he said. "As a seasoned, professional officer, I have determined that I could not effectively direct the operations of the Lanesboro Police Department under the conditions set forth by the city council."


City Administrator Barbara Hoyhtya said the city was offering Cherney $35,100 a year, the same wage paid to the former police chief. Cherney, she said, wanted about $4,400 a year more.

"Response time was also an issue," she said. "We wanted (the chief) to be able to respond in 15 to 20 minutes, and he lived in Adams, which is further away than that. He had to make some choices on if he would move closer."

Cherney, who is running for sheriff of Mower County, has a 20-year career in law enforcement, working in communications, corrections, investigations and administration.

Hoyhtya said the city council will conduct interviews and make an offer to another candidate Tuesday. The offer, she said, will likely be the same as the one made to Cherney.

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