Council to revisit issue of Rohloff’s benefits

Patrick Fisher

Staff Writer

Revisiting an issue from a year ago, the New Prague City Council will consider a request for benefits from its former police chief, Dennis Rohloff, at its October 17 meeting.

Rohloff, who served as chief for 25 years, made a request to the city in March, 2004 concerning medical benefits. The request touched off months of gathering data before the city made its decision to deny the request.

At the core of the discussion was an application for benefits submitted by Rohloff to the Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA) of Minnesota. The organization concluded that he qualified for benefits under Minnesota Statute 2991.465, which covers police officers and firefighters, the benefits would come from the city, which would be partially reimbursed by the state.

At the time of the request, the council had concerns that the state had not provided enough funds to reimburse the cities. They also were questioning whether the benefits covered physical injuries only or included stress-related injuries that come from physical-medical issues. Based on the information the council had then it felt the law pertained to physical injuries.

Recently a similar case was decided in the Minnesota Court of Appeals that stress related injuries were covered.

The council held a closed session about the benefits prior to its October 3 meeting, and has included the issue on its October 17 agenda.

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