WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Fort Madison Acknowledges Disciplining Police Following Complaints; Few Details Released

Mar 1, 2018

The city of Fort Madison is acknowledging that it took disciplinary action against some members of its police department. But what exactly led to the disciplinary action remains unanswered.

The city released a statement Wednesday afternoon in response to questions posed in an email by Tri States Public Radio. In the statement, the city said it received complaints of “inappropriate behavior by members of the Police Department.”

City Manager David Varley told Tri States Public Radio in a subsequent phone call that the complaints came from more than one person and they were received 3-4 months ago. He said they were sent by people associated with the FMPD and pertain to multiple incidents.

Neither Varley nor the statement from the city revealed:

  • Who the complaints came from
  • Who was named in the complaints
  • What incidents prompted the complaints
  • What was meant by “associated with the FMPD”

The prepared statement said the city immediately began investigating the complaints, per city policy, starting with interviews conducted by Varley. Eventually, the city brought in an “experienced expert with an employment law background” to conduct an independent investigation. The city is not revealing that person's identity.

“As with most complaints, some of the allegations were founded, while others were determined to be without merit,” per the statement. “The complaining parties were assured that steps were being taken to ensure any substantiated issues were rectified.”

Varley then carried out the recommendations of the investigator, who he said was from outside of the area.

“Disciplinary action was, in fact, taken against certain persons who were determined to have been at fault,” per the statement. “Because of confidentiality laws, the city is not at liberty to disclose the details of what personnel actions were taken or against which employees such actions were taken.

“However, the city can state that although discipline was imposed, not of the facts rose to the level of termination of a employee.”

The city concluded its statement by saying it would monitor the issues going forward but that it considered the investigation closed.