The Silver Bay Chief of Police has filed a petition for a restraining order against a Silver Bay resident, and the Silver Bay City Council voted Monday, Feb. 3 to allow the city attorney to represent him in the case.
In the petition obtained by the News-Chronicle, police chief Scott Kochendorfer alleges that Robert Clement has been following him around when he is on- and off-duty; driving by the police station at odd hours; driving by the chief’s home; and taking photos and videos of him and other officers without permission.
Kochendorfer sought the petition because he said he was “more fearful he (Clement) will escalate his harassment specifically outside of work" and it "makes it extremely difficult to do my job as chief as I am constantly looking over my shoulder and trying to avoid him," court documents said.
Clement has filed a request for a hearing to dispute the restraining order. At Monday's City Council meeting, city attorney Tim Costley asked the council to decide whether he should represent the chief on behalf of the city.
Councilor Richard DeRosier said he’d spoken with Kochendorfer about the matter at length.
“What I would share with the mayor and my fellow councilors is that the situation has gone on for quite some time,” DeRosier said. “It has gone on before this chief was here. It has gone on with our past chief and might have started before that chief. It’s not the type of situation where, in broad strokes, it’s not a personal conflict.”
The petition doesn’t mention past incidents, but alleges the harassment started in August 2019 shortly after Kochendorfer was sworn into office, court documents said. It continued until December when the petition was filed.
DeRosier made a motion to have Costley represent Kochendorfer in the hearing.
“I certainly have no problem at all having Mr. Costley represent our chief,” DeRosier said. “He’s our city attorney and has our city’s best interests in mind. I trust his integrity and his ability to know if this was falling more on the personal side.”
The motion was seconded by Councilor Carlene Perfetto and approved unanimously by the three members in attendance. Councilors Shane Hoff and Dustin Goutermont were absent.
Mayor Scott Johnson said he supported the council's decision.
“Because this situation has arisen through the line of work and not necessarily a personal matter, I think it’s important we project a united front and have our city attorney support our officers,” he said.