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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:  

Joe Hite: 7 p.m. May 27, Okauchee Lake Yacht Club, W340 N6338 Breezy Point Road, Oconomowoc. 7 to 11 p.m. Joe Hite will perform, and all proceeds will benefit the Okauchee Fireworks Fund. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Minimum $10 per person.

Burgundy Ties Plays: 8 p.m. May 28, Bucky’s Lakeside Pub and Grill, 50n 35016w Wisconsin Ave, Okauchee. The combination of their eclectic sound and live performance makes Burgundy Ties stand out as an original and inspired Milwaukee band. Visit www.burgundytiesband.com. Free.

Duck/Homemade Boat Race: 10 a.m. May 28, Nixon Park, 339 Maple Ave., Hartland. Races start at 11 a.m. There will be food for sale as well as other family-friendly activities. Entry fee per race is $5 and $1 to purchase a duck. All proceeds go to saving the swifts and to the Ice Age Trail. For rules and information, visit www.savetheswifts.com.

Rummage Sale: 9 a.m. May 26-27; 8 a.m. May 28, Rummage Sale, N41W29213 Prairie Wind Circle South, Pewaukee. Volunteers and donations needed. We will supply tax donation forms to donors. Anything not sold will be donated to Goodwill and Lake Country Caring.

All weekend happenings

 

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