DETROIT LAKES, Minn. — An attorney for a Detroit Lakes police sergeant has told the city of his intent to file a civil suit against the city in federal court following an off-duty altercation in 2017 after which the officer spent 16 months on paid administrative leave.
In the notice of claim sent to the city on May 24, Sgt. Robert Strand's attorney Robert Fowler said the basis for the claim includes, but is not limited to: “Invasion of Privacy, HIPPA (medical privacy) violations, and intentional violation of my client’s rights under 42 USC 1983 (essentially, misusing authority to violate federal rights)."
Fowler alleges that Detroit Lakes Police Chief Steven Todd “took these actions under color of law and in connection with his official duties as part of their employment with the City of Detroit Lakes Police Department.”
He said Strand has suffered damages to his professional reputation, “and has lost property and privacy rights as a result. As for damages, we will be claiming in excess of $50,000.”
Strand was involved in an altercation at the Hub 41 bar with Blake Sundvor of Detroit Lakes, who was convicted in February 2018 of misdemeanor disorderly conduct in the incident. A jury found Strand not guilty on the same charge.