Sgt. Sam Olson was appointed to the position of acting police chief by the Big Lake City Council at its Wednesday, October 13 meeting.

The move comes after Police Chief Matt Hayen was placed on a leave of absence, according to a City of Big Lake staff report in the council’s Oct. 13 agenda packet.

As acting chief, Olson will officially take on the role of managing operations of the Big Lake Police Department on a day-to-day basis.

Hayen was placed on leave September 13 after a complaint was filed against the police chief.

Hayen himself served as the acting chief of the Big Lake Police Department from early February to mid-July after former chief Joel Scharf went on medical leave. Scharf eventually resigned. His last day as chief was May 27.

The Big Lake City Council appointed Hayen as chief on Wednesday, July 14. Olson, who is now acting chief, also interviewed for the chief’s position.

On the consent agenda of the August 25 city council meeting, the city council was being asked by Hayen to approve a voluntary reassignment of Olson from sergeant to patrol office. The request appeared to be centered around a change in scheduling that would have changed Olson’s work hours from working mainly days to working evenings, according to the request included in the August 25 city council packet. 

With Sam Olson’s reassignment as a patrol officer, Hayen stated in his request to the city council that he would be looking to fill the open patrol sergeant position.

However, the request was pulled from the consent agenda during the August 25 city council meeting and was not voted on.


Jeff Hage is the managing editor of the Monticello Times. He majored in journalism at the University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire.

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