Town completes investigation of Police Chief after recent paid administrative leave
The Town of Prescott Valley Human Resources Department has completed an investigation into Police Chief Steven Roser regarding alleged violations of Town policies and procedures. Chief Roser was placed on paid administrative leave on April 27 pending completion of the investigation.
A summary of the investigation report states that staff at the Prescott Valley Police Department reported to Mayor Kell Palguta incidents that if true would potentially violate the Town’s Code of Conduct and Harassment policies, thereby creating a hostile work environment within the department.
The allegations of harassment leading to a hostile work environment related to Chief Roser’s interactions primarily with supervisory staff at the department. Allegations were also made pertaining to Roser’s administrative and policy decisions in the areas of recruitment, shift, and vehicle assignments. Some allegations also referred to Roser’s communication and management style.
The investigation deemed the allegations of violation of the Town’s Code regarding Harassment, Honesty, and Integrity, and Staffing decisions unfounded.
Alleged reports of violation of Town Code regarding Code of Conduct and Standards of Conduct were sustained as they applied to Chief Roser’s communication style with his management team, his use of profanity, name-calling, dealing with performance deficiencies in a group of employees, and other discourteous and disrespectful conduct.
The investigation recommended a two-day unpaid suspension and a letter of reprimand, along with remedial training on Emotional Intelligence and the Code of Conduct. It was also recommended that the Chief’s office provide additional training and resources to staff, communication of changes in procedures and protocols to staff well in advance of implementation and that the Chief advises and honors that the Town has an open-door policy for all personnel to communicate to Town leadership in accordance with policies without fear of retaliation.
These recommendations were approved by Town Manager Larry Tarkowski, and after completion of the two-day unpaid suspension, Chief Roser returned to work on Monday, May 17.