Police lights

TOWN OF RUSK––A Minnesota police vehicle was found in a ditch and now the office in charge of the vehicle is investigating how it got there.

According to the police report, a Burnett County deputy was heading to a medical call Sept. 28 just before 10 p.m. when they noticed a black SUV in the ditch on the north side of County Road G across from Northwinds Bar.

The deputy noted the vehicle had Minnesota license plates and was registered to the Hennepin County CMED (Central Mobile Equipment Division.)

The initial investigation revealed Robert Staupe as the driver of the vehicle. He told authorities "he had been drinking before he put the vehicle in the ditch but that it was not that much,” according to the initial report.

Staupe and his wife own property east of Northwinds Bar. It appears he has also been demoted from Major to Lieutenant

The vehicle was taken to the Burnett County Sheriff’s impound lot.

After searching the vehicle, identified as a Chevrolet Tahoe, authorities found, "A bottle of Tito handmade Vodka, pizza box, McDonald bag, orange backpack, black purse, Hennepin County Jacket, bag of Hennepin Sheriff's stars, and in the far back a weed whip the gun locker safe was locked."

Hennepin County Sheriff David Hutchinson told a local television station the department has started an internal investigation.

"We have launched an internal employment investigation into this incident. Because the matter is under investigation, I hope people understand that I cannot comment any further," Hutchinson said.