Sandy March
Sandy March

February 16, 2018

A patrol officer who had worked for the Carroll Police Department for more than 18 years was fired last month for reasons that have not yet been publicly disclosed.

Sandy March was fired Jan. 16, Carroll City Manager Mike Pogge-Weaver confirmed. She appealed her termination to the city’s Civil Service Commission, which is set to hold a hearing on the matter on Tuesday.

If the commission affirms her termination, March can appeal to district court. She could not be reached to comment for this article.

Iowa law requires the city to list the reasons for March’s termination, but city leaders have not yet provided them to the Daily Times Herald.

March was part of an undercover police operation in September that targeted the Times Herald. She contacted reporter Jared Strong, claiming she had been fired and had damaging information to share about the police department — specifically that officers had covered up a crime committed by a prominent businessman in town.

In truth, March had not been fired at that time, and her meeting with Strong was a ruse to determine the identity of an informant inside the department that Police Chief Brad Burke suspected was feeding Strong information.

Strong did not have an informant in the department.

Burke revealed the ploy in an email several days later: “Officer Sandy March has not been terminated and never was. She was never asked to resign. She met with you over the weekend at my request.”

Burke has also surreptitiously recorded conversations with Times Herald staff.