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Village will explain Rahn suspension

April 8, 2014

Village officials said they will reveal in about two weeks the reasons why Police Officer Chad Rahn has been placed on a 20-day suspension. But first, they said, they must go through a state-required legal process.

Administrator Kayla Chadwick said that under state law, Police Chief David Wentlandt must notify Rahn that the village has received an open-records request from the Sussex Sun regarding his suspension. Rahn will have 12 days to decide whether to ask the Waukesha County Circuit Court to block the release of the information regarding his suspension.

If Rahn does not challenge the information, it will be released to the Sun and anyone else who has filed an open-records request on the matter, she said.

Robert Drepps, a lawyer for the Wisconsin Newspaper Association, said Wisconsin courts have seldom blocked open-records requests regarding the suspensions of public employees.

The Sun filed the open-records request about two weeks ago. Chadwick initially indicated that the village would not comply with the request because it involved documents pertaining to village personnel.

When later advised that the state law required the release of the information, she turned the matter over to the police chief.

Chadwick said the village would eventually comply with the request in an email and interview after the deadline for publication of last week's Sussex Sun.

Chadwick had earlier explained that Rahn's suspension would be served periodically on individual days, rather than during 20 consecutive days.

The reason, according to Chadwick, was a shortage of officers on duty. There are two other officers currently off duty. One of the officers in on paternity leave, and Lt. Brian Pergande continues to serve on paid administrative leave as a result of the Waukesha County Sheriff's Department's internal investigation into the Butler Police Department a year ago.

Rahn received a three-day suspension, and two other officers received written reprimands as a result of the investigation.

The investigation cited most of the village's seven-member department for various acts of misconduct, including watching pornography on village computers, displaying sexist and racist attitudes, and improper personal use of the state and federal law-enforcement network.

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Weekend Happenings

Featured this week:  

The Art of the Bicycle: Dec. 17-20, Delafield Arts Center, 719 Genesee St., Delafield. Diane Lehman, Peter Kudlata and Wheel & Sprocket. Gallery Hours: Wednesday through Friday: 11am-4pm; first and third Saturdays of each month: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and by appointment. Free. http://www.delafieldartscenter.org/.

Country Christmas Outdoor Drive-through Lights Display: 5-9 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays, 5-10 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and holidays through Dec. 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 http://www.thecountrychristmas.com.

Nutcracker Ballet: 7 p.m. Dec. 19; 1 p.m., 7 p.m. Dec. 20; 2 p.m. Dec. 21, Oconomowoc Arts Center, 641 East Forest Street, Oconomwoc. Mainstage Academy of Dance performs this beloved Tchaikovsky ballet, a holiday classic the whole family will enjoy. Visit www.theoac.net for more information or tickets. $14-$16 http://www.wedancemainstage.com 

Tom Heideman’s Swamp Party: 9:30 p.m. Dec. 20, Delafield Brewhaus, 3832 Hillside Drive, Delafield. For more information call (262) 646-7821.

Updates to this calendar are made weekly Monday afternoon. 

 

All weekend happenings.