Ishpeming settles Bjorne lawsuit

ISHPEMING – A settlement was announced Friday in the lawsuit filed by a former Ishpeming police chief against the city.

After a special meeting of the Ishpeming City Council Friday afternoon, the panel, along with plaintiffs James and Holly Bjorne, announced that the lawsuit, alleging violations of state and federal law, has been settled.

A joint press release stated, “While the Defendants do not admit any wrongdoing or failure to comply with any applicable law, all parties to this lawsuit are pleased to have resolved the matter amicably.”

Terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

James Bjorne was chief of the Ishpeming Police Department until his termination for insubordination in September 2011. He then filed a lawsuit against the city and then-city manager Jered Ottenwess alleging that his 1st and 14th Amendment rights and several state laws had been violated. Bjorne alleged that the city and Ottenwess violated the 14th Amendment by failing to give notice and an opportunity to be heard prior to his termination; and that his termination was in retaliation for invoking his 1st Amendment rights in an email to Councilwoman Claudia Demarest.

For more on the story, see Saturday’s print edition of The Mining Journal.