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The Star Tribune (Minneapolis) (KRT)
via NewsEdge Corporation

Jul. 17--A veteran Minneapolis police lieutenant suspended in April pending a federal investigation was quietly reinstated this week, days after a fellow officer was indicted on corruption charges.
Lt. Lee Edwards was back at work Wednesday in the department's administrative services division, said Sgt. Jesse Garcia, a police spokesman. Garcia declined to comment further.
Edwards and officer Mike Roberts were relieved of duty in connection with a federal investigation that began last summer. Roberts, 57, a 29-year veteran of the department, was indicted Monday on federal corruption charges, accused of accepting $100 on two occasions for giving confidential information to an undercover informant who claimed to be a gang member.
Edwards is one of five black officers who sued the Police Department in December over allegations of racial discrimination. His attorney in that suit claimed in April that any allegations against Edwards in the federal investigation were baseless and there was no connection between Edwards and Roberts. The nature of the investigation of Edwards has not been publicized.
Edwards, a former head of the homicide unit, was inspector in charge of the department's Fourth Precinct on the North Side until Chief Tim Dolan removed him last summer after it was alleged that he drove a squad car after drinking and made inappropriate sexual comments in front of colleagues.
Edwards was exonerated of the drinking allegation.
Edwards was also a top candidate for the police chief's job in Northfield. The city instead promoted Northfield police Capt. Mark Taylor to the post, but officials there said the investigation involving Edwards had no bearing on the city's decision.
Ron Edwards, a member of the Police Community Relations Council, said Lee Edwards' reinstatement leads to suspicion that his suspension in connection with the federal case was in retaliation for the civil suit filed in December. Ron Edwards and Lee Edwards are not related.
"It raises real serious questions about the direction of the department and the culture of the department," he said. "This man has an outgrowth of allegations that have basically evaporated and disappeared, and he has lost the chance of any significant step up the career ladder."
Ron Edwards claimed that the suspension not only derailed Lee Edwards' hopes to become Northfield police chief but lends credibility to the retaliation claims by the five black officers.
"I think this will enhance what is being requested," he said. "What the taxpayers need to be concerned with is how much this is going to hit them in the pocketbook."
Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak declined to discuss Lee Edwards' reinstatement.
"This is one that I really can't comment on," he said.

Story From: The Star Tribune
 
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