Unexplained Paid Leave of Crystal Officers Raises Questions

Updated: 07/31/2013 7:22 AM KSTP.com By: Jay Kolls

Two Crystal Police Officers have been on paid administrative leave, collectively, for more than a year and no reason has been given to the public. 

Officer Allan Watt, a 17-year veteran, and Officer Ron Erkenbrack, a 27-year veteran, are on paid leave until further notice. The non-profit advocacy group Communities United Against Police Brutality has posted flyers in Crystal businesses calling for the officers' reinstatement.

CUAB thinks the officers are targets of retaliation from Crystal Police Chief Stephanie Revering.  

CUAB Spokesperson Michelle Gross tells 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS she has spoken with both officers. She says the two were outspoken, internally, about questionable practices by the Chief and other officers in the Crystal Police Department and that's why they have been sent home with pay and no explanation as to why they cannot return to their jobs. Gross says her group thinks the two officers tried to do the right thing and are now being retaliated against.

Retired Minneapolis police officer and former head of the MPD Internal Affairs Unit Michael Quinn talked to 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS about this case. He has talked with both officers and also thinks they are being retaliated against.

We asked Chief Revering for an interview, but she declined. Watt and Erkenbrack have filed for arbitration and told us they cannot comment on their cases. CUAB is holding a rally of support for the officers at next Monday's Crystal City Council meeting.