Alston ousted as Rochester Police Chief candidate

A decision was made Tuesday night at Fire Station #2 regarding the candidacy for current Dallas, Texas Police Lieutenant Roy Alston for Rochester Police Chief.  Recently, the Civil Service Commission said Alston claimed that he had never been disciplined by an employer.  The Commission said they found he had been reprimanded by a previous employer.  Alston appealed, and during a hearing Tuesday night made his case.

Arguments dealt with issues ranging from confusion over discipline in Texas versus discipline in Minnesota and the timeline of the background investigator.
In the end though, a two to one decision was made to maintain the Civil Service Commission’s decision to eliminate Alston’s candidacy.  Some people at the meeting didn’t agree with the decision.  

Sandra Means is a former Rochester City Councilmember. She says she’d like to see a stronger vetting process for people applying for jobs like this.

"To have someone discount you and humiliate you and embarrass you in front of the public I think was unaccountable," Means says, "So, I think there needs to be some research, there needs to be some process improvements."  

Local residents are also chiming in about the decision.

"We deserve better as a city," says local resident Al Lun, "We need to grow up. We are destination medical center. This is the 21st century.  We want to be a model city for Minnesota.  So, I think we deserve a better hiring process for the very important job of Chief of Police in Rochester.  And I don’t think we have that process.  We don’t have the right kind of people hiring in the decision making process."

The Commission claims they had found out about Alston’s past reprimand after a deep background investigation.  The remaining finalists for the police chief position are James Franklin from Minneapolis and Mark Elliott of Prior Lake.  

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