City of Rolla fires police chief amid investigation

ROLLA, N.D. For the second time in nearly two years, the city of Rolla has fired its chief of police.

Rolla Mayor John Hardy confirmed with Your News Leader he terminated Chief Matthew Anderson Thursday afternoon, after receiving information that Anderson was being investigated by the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the Rolette County State’s Attorney’s office.

Hardy could not comment on the cause of the investigation. The BCI deferred to the City of Rolla for comment, and we have reached out to the State’s Attorney’s office for more information.

Hardy said he first got word of a possible investigation of Anderson roughly a month ago, but learned of specifics Thursday that led to his decision to fire him.

Anderson was hired as police chief in April of 2019, replacing Nathan Gustafson, who had taken over as Rolette County Sheriff. We reached out to Anderson, who declined to comment.

Hardy says the city is posting the job, and the Rolette County Sheriff’s Department will manage the Rolla Police Department until a replacement is hired.

In October of 2017, then-Mayor Scott Mitchell fired then-Police Chief Joe Boehm after Boehm refused to resign, though Mitchell did not specifically say why they were firing Boehm, other than a “need to go in a different direction.”