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Butler reduces Police Officer Chad Rahn's suspension to 15 days

May 13, 2014

Butler — Police Officer Chad Rahn's 20-day disciplinary suspension for various charges of misconduct has been reduced to 15 days following negotiations between village officials, Rahn, and the public employees union that represented him.

Village Administrator Kayla Chadwick said the parties agreed to a disciplinary compromise in order to resolve the matter. In exchange for the fewer days of suspension, Rahn agreed not to proceed with a grievance hearing he had requested that was scheduled for Monday, May 12.

Police Chief David Wentlandt had charged Rahn with neglect of duty, unbecoming conduct, unsatisfactory performance, failure to properly complete an investigation, failure to make a written report when required, and failure to turn in seized, found or recovery property.

The charges stemmed from the discovery in early 2013 of reports on Rahn's desk and in a cardboard storage box that had not been completed or properly filed.

According to Wentlandt, there were approximately 50 reports that accounted for nearly 150 deficiencies, including 39 cases where the report was not properly filed, 11 instances of reports or investigations that were unfinished, 22 cases in which evidence was not properly inventoried, 12 cases of report numbers not properly used, 21 cases of original witness statements, 3 possible felony cases now beyond statute of limitations for prosecution and 36 cases of possible misdemeanors or municipal ordinance violations beyond the statute of limits for prosecution.

Ben Barth, a labor consultant for the Labor Association of Wisconsin, the public employees union that represents Rahn and three other members of the seven-officer force, said Rahn had "accepted responsibilities for his actions" and argued that the 20-day suspension was too severe a penalty.

Chadwick said there are seven days remaining on Rahn's suspension. The suspension has been spread out over a five-month period rather than imposed in a lump sum of 20 days in order to alleviate manpower shortages in the department.

Rahn is one of two officers whose complaints lodged against former Police Chief Michael Cosgrove resulted in a Waukesha County Sheriff's Department investigation of the department. Cosgrove retired in the midst of the investigation. Wentlandt was later named police chief.

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