The police chief of a small town in southwest Wisconsin was arrested last week in Nebraska. The 29-year-old chief, who is the sole officer in the Readstown Police Department, was wanted on several charges, including two counts of fourth-degree sexual assault.
Wisconsin officials had issued a nationwide alert specifying that the chief, who also works as a truck driver, might be driving through Nebraska. State police troopers arrested him at 2 a.m. March 2 at a truck stop off Interstate 80. In addition to the sexual assault charges, he was facing two felony counts of misconduct in a public office, three counts of disorderly conduct and one count of obstructing an officer and falsifying information.
The Vernon County sheriff said authorities had been investigating the police chief for several months. He was accused of making sexually suggestive comments to a female corrections officer last April. Three months later, a female drug informant filed a similar complaint against him, alleging that in addition to suggestive comments, he'd touched her inappropriately. And the husband of a female business owner reported that his wife had performed a sexual act on the chief in September. He was suspended with pay later that month.
The chief was expected to be extradited to Wisconsin, where he will face the charges against him in court. If he's found guilty, he could face jail time or other penalties and possibly lose his job. His choice to leave the state has led to heightened publicity of his case and may have further damaged his reputation. As a public official in a small town, he'll need the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney to help him fight the charges and regain his community's trust.
Source: Omaha.com, "Wis. Police chief arrested in Neb.," Saw Womack and Jay Withrow, March 2, 2012