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Flandreau Police Officials Resign

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The Chief of Police and a Sergeant in Flandreau, both handed in their resignations last week, which has raised a lot of questions.

Both men stepped down after a routine search into former cases found missing inventory.

City officials said former Chief of Police, Michael Eisenbarth and former Sergeant Jesse Doyle served in the Flandreau Police Department for several years, and now the city is scrambling to fill their positions.

"A change was needed," said Lewis.

Paul Lewis, Flandreau's city attorney said on Friday, the city, along with Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe officials received the resignations for former Chief of Police Michael Eisenbarth and former Sergeant, Jesse Doyle.

Their resignations followed the discovery of missing evidence from a closed crime case.

"When the police department deals with criminal matters, evidence is seized, whether it's alcohol, drugs, money in some cases. I think in this situation there may have been some money that was involved," said Lewis.

City officials said the former police chief and former sergeant are not suspects in this investigation, however they stepped down because the city is looking for a new direction for the police department.

"I think there's enough cops to take it over," said Thomas.

Jim Thomas, a rancher, has lived in the Flandreau area his whole life.

He said he doesn't make it to town often to catch all the gossip and was surprised to hear about the resignations.

"It will be interesting to see who gets it, I would think it would be someone in South Dakota who gets it," said Thomas.

While the city looks into filling the positions, the Division of Criminal Investigation will be assisting Flandreau officials to track down the missing evidence from the former case.
Depending on any developments in the case, prosecution could be turned over to the State's Attorney.

"You're looking at grand theft. It could be a felony for instance with several years possible in prison, a fairly sizeable fine," said Lewis.

A mystery the city hopes to solve soon.

"Too make sure this never happens again," said Lewis.

A current police officer, Darin Sinner has been named the interim police chief and will maintain administration and management for the Flandreau police department.
The search for the new police chief will most likely take several months and they'll be accepting candidates nationwide.
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