Dodge County Sheriff Details Investigation Into Dissolution Of Horicon’s PFC

(Horicon) The Dodge County Sheriff details his investigation into the Horicon Common Council’s vote to dissolve the city’s Police and Fire Commission in a press release. The Dodge County DA’s office last week declined to prosecute allegations of Misconduct In Office and Open Meetings Law violations. The March vote stemmed from the council’s disagreement with the PFC on the hiring process to replace former Police Chief Joe Adamson. Sheriff Dale Schmidt says members of the disbanded PFC issued a formal complaint with his office in early April and a detective was assigned to investigate. Schmidt says that the investigation revealed that no violation of the law could be proven to the necessary legal standard. To be certain, the investigation was forwarded to the Dodge County District Attorney’s Office for a final review and decision.  The DA’s office concluded the city council had the authority to disband the PFC and properly followed the legal advice of the city attorney. In Friday’s release, Schmidt goes on to explain his reasoning for the investigation and his support for a PFC as an “independent civilian board.” Schmidt says the PFC acted lawfully and it is (quote) “evident in [the] investigation that the PFC was attempting to implement a fair and impartial process with the intent to hire the most qualified applicant.” The sheriff says it is (quote) “clear that the mayor and city council’s motivation was vastly influenced by trying to avoid a lawsuit rather than ensuring that the best selection process was in place.” Schmidt also asserts that it is wrong to believe the PFC must follow the directions of the mayor and the motivation for disbanding the commission violated the legislative intent of state statute. In a memorandum, the Dodge County DA’s office indicated that it is not the purpose of [their] office to “determine whether or not the city violated its own policies or to comment on any cronyism in the city’s governance or to discuss the motives of city council members in their successful attempt to abolish the PFC.”