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Schimel: Pergande deal still on

July 28, 2014

Waukesha — Waukesha County District Attorney Brad Schimel said he is still willing to accept a plea agreement from former Butler Police Lt. Brian Pergande even though Waukesha County Circuit Court Judge Donald J. Hassin Jr turned down a previous agreement reached between Schimel and Pergande's attorney Michael Steinle.

On July 18, Hassin would not accept Pergande's plea of "no contest" to disorderly conduct charges that related to an incident in September of 2009 when Pergande allegedly took inappropriate photos of a woman he had improperly detained at the Butler Village Police Department. Pergande resigned from the Butler police department and offered the plea in exchange for Schimel dropping charges of felony official misconduct, which carried a potential prison sentence and fine.

Schimel said he has contacted Steinle and told him he is still willing to carry out the plea agreement if a judge will agree. Otherwise, Schimel said both sides will have to start preparing for a trial in October.

Schimel emphasized that Pergande still has the right to seek a jury trial on the felony charges despite his "no contest" plea to the disorderly conduct charges.

However, Schimel said Pergande may have to do more to convince the judge that he engaged in disorderly conduct when he took the photos.

Schimel said he did not think Hassin was satisfied that the elements of a disorderly conduct charge were present enough after Pergande explained his plea.

According to state law, a person commits disorderly conduct by engaging in a violent, abusive, indecent, or unreasonably loud action that tends to disturb or provoke others.

At one point during the court session, Hassin said Pergande's description of why he took the pictures "makes no sense."

Pergande said he took photographs of the woman because he was referring her to another police agency to assist them in drug investigations.

He said apparently the woman was uncomfortable with the way he was taking the pictures.

Pergande told police investigators that someone had cropped and edited the photos to emphasize the woman's breasts. The photos were discovered in former Butler Police Chief Michael Cosgrove's computer during an investigation of Cosgrove and the department conducted by the Waukesha County Sheriff's office.

Cosgrove retired in the midst of the investigation and Pergande was placed on paid administrative leave for more than a year awaiting possible criminal charges.

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Weekend Happenings

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Country Christmas Outdoor Drive-through Lights Display: Nov. 27-30, Dec. 5-31. Country Springs Hotel, 2810 Golf Road, Pewaukee. Wisconsin’s largest drive-through holiday lights event features more than a million holiday lights along a mile-long trail that winds through the woods, Includes animated figures and holiday scenes. Call (262) 970-5398 for details. $15-$25. $15 per carload, $25 limo, mini-coach or large van. www.thecountrychristmas.com

 World’s Greatest Cookie Sale: Noon-4 p.m.  Nov. 28, Country Springs Hotel, 2810 Golf Road, Pewaukee. Sale features homemade holiday cookies and baked goods in many varieties. Entertainment includes magic shows, cookie and cupcake decorating, face painting, holiday coloring contest and Santa and Mrs. Claus. Sale ends at 4 p.m. For more information on the World’s Greatest Cookie Sale, call Country Springs, (262) 547-0201 or visit thecountrychristmas.com/cookiesale. Free.

 German Christmas Market: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Nov. 28, 29 and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Nov. 30, Downtown Oconomowoc, 100 E. Wisconsin Ave., Oconomowoc. Celebrate Wisconsin’s heritage at this family festival that features heated tents, German beer, music, live bands, authentic German food, vendors, Santa and more. Free http://www.germanchristmasmarket.org. 

 Oconomowoc Winter Farmers Market: 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Nov. 30, Oconomowoc Landscape Supply & Garden Center, County Road K, Oconomowoc. Features local seasonally grown produce and artisan food products.  www.oconomowoc.org.

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