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Wisconsin Police Chief Pleads No Contest to Harassing Tea Party Leader
The La Crosse Tribune ^ | 7/26/2014 | Anne Jungen

Posted on 07/26/2014 10:44:48 AM PDT by ThE_RiPpEr.

The embattled town of Campbell police chief pleaded no contest Friday to a misdemeanor that accused him of using a tea party activist’s information online during work hours to retaliate for a federal lawsuit brought against him.

“I understand that there is a political context to this case, but my view of it is not political,” Monroe County Circuit Judge David Rice said. “I view it as a criminal case.”

After months of conflict between the town, police and tea party activists, Chief Tim Kelemen in January and March used La Crosse tea party activist Greg Luce’s name, address, phone number and email address to create accounts on pornographic, dating and government health insurance websites.

Prosecutors brought a charge of unlawful use of computerized communication systems against Kelemen, but it will be dismissed in two years if the chief avoids new crimes, continues counseling and completes 40 hours of community service under the terms of a diversion agreement reached in La Crosse County Circuit Court.

Luce told the judge he believes Kelemen is guilty of more serious charges for actions that constitute more than “a joke.”

“I don’t believe a diversion agreement is fair in this situation,” Luce said. “My reputation and my civil rights have been seriously harmed, and the criminal is going to again get a slap on the wrist by the La Crosse court system.”

Special prosecutor Kevin Croninger called Kelemen’s conduct “juvenile, illegal and inappropriate.”

“The members of the public expect more from law enforcement,” he said. “Anytime someone in law enforcement is engaged in this type of activity, it makes you wonder about who you can trust.”

Still, the prosecutor said the charge levied against Kelemen was appropriate and that he could not prove more serious charges beyond a reasonable doubt.

Croninger said the resolution reached in the case is not intended to minimize the chief’s actions but that it is fair for someone who has no criminal record, enrolled in counseling and is not a threat while undergoing treatment.

The context of the chief’s conduct isn’t an excuse, but it is important for the court to understand, said his attorney, Jim Birnbaum.

Birnbaum contends tea party members harassed town and police officials for months after board members in October passed a local ordinance prohibiting speech-related behavior on an Interstate 90 pedestrian overpass.

The chief viewed the activity as a public safety risk; Luce and another tea party member argued the ordinance trampled on their rights and responded with a federal lawsuit. The amended suit accuses Kelemen of violating Luce’s right to petition without retaliation, invasion of privacy and civil identity theft.

The department was inundated with threatening emails and phone calls after the ordinance, leading the agency to shut off its phone for weeks, Birnbaum said.

There is no evidence to show Luce sent the department harassing emails, Croninger said.

“Mr. Kelemen’s anger was directed in the wrong spot. I believe he was under a significant amount of pressure and that pressure got to him,” Croninger said. “He took that out on Mr. Luce, and he shouldn’t have.”

Birnbaum called the chief’s conduct “foolish” and done in frustration.

“He regrets doing that. It was wrong on all kinds of fronts,” Birnbaum said. “No one is harder on him than himself.”

The chief did not make a statement during the hearing.

“Mr. Kelemen, your reaction to what happened in your township and your department can best be characterized as juvenile. It is the kind of thing that you expect high school kids to do to get revenge,” the judge told him. “It’s misplaced. It’s aimed at one person who isn’t necessarily the person who is causing these problems, and it’s also a violation of your duty as an officer.”

The Campbell board placed Kelemen on paid leave June 12 after hearing from community members that the chief had lost credibility. La Crosse attorney Frank Doherty is conducting an internal investigation.

Since the town does not have a police and fire commission, state statute allows the board to appoint a panel of outside representatives to consider discipline against Kelemen, depending on the results of Doherty’s investigation.

“Given the collateral legal proceedings, the people I want to interview and their attorneys are approaching things cautiously, and that is appropriate,” Doherty said Friday. “This means that it will take some time to gather all of the relevant information, finish the witness interviews and complete the investigation.”


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: abuseofpower; crime; cultureofcorruption; dncbrownshirts; donutwatch; lawsuit; policestate; teaparty; wisconsin
This Tea Party member is a plaintiff in a Federal lawsuit against the town and the town's police chief for violations of our first amendment and 14th amendment rights. He retaliated by harassing the Tea Party member that filed the lawsuit.

Thomas More Law Canter is representing us in this lawsuit.

http://www.thomasmore.org/news/police-chief-retaliates-against-impeach-obama-tea-party-activist-tmlc-amends-federal-lawsuit/

1 posted on 07/26/2014 10:44:49 AM PDT by ThE_RiPpEr.
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To: ThE_RiPpEr.

Greg better hide his dog.


2 posted on 07/26/2014 10:46:02 AM PDT by TurboZamboni (Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.-JFK)
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To: ThE_RiPpEr.

Maybe if the Nuremburg Criminals had used the “Hey, it was just a joke” defense, they might’ve gotten off.


3 posted on 07/26/2014 10:47:48 AM PDT by MuttTheHoople (Ob)
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To: null and void

JBT ping.


4 posted on 07/26/2014 10:48:43 AM PDT by Slings and Arrows (You can't have Ingsoc without an Emmanuel Goldstein.)
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To: ThE_RiPpEr.

I am no lawyer but I would recommend filing a liable / defamation lawsuit against the chief personally.


5 posted on 07/26/2014 10:48:52 AM PDT by taxcontrol
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To: ThE_RiPpEr.

The chief needs to be put in the pokey. Completely wrong on all counts. He’s probably only “hard on himself” for getting caught and not using proxy addresses...


6 posted on 07/26/2014 10:50:46 AM PDT by jsanders2001
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To: ThE_RiPpEr.

Birnbaum called the chief’s conduct “foolish” and done in frustration.

“He regrets doing that. It was wrong on all kinds of fronts,” Birnbaum said. “No one is harder on him than himself.”

Yeah, sure. A lot more than foolish. He needs some prison time.


7 posted on 07/26/2014 10:52:03 AM PDT by TurkeyLurkey
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To: jsanders2001

The “chief” is a misguided, inappropriate loser. He should be fired and then sued personally.


8 posted on 07/26/2014 10:52:32 AM PDT by hal ogen (First Amendment or Reeducation Camp?)
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To: hal ogen

He gives the rest a bad name..too many if them lately it seems


9 posted on 07/26/2014 10:55:22 AM PDT by jsanders2001
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To: ThE_RiPpEr.

Will you be able to get that ordinance overturned about the freeway & 1A? That would be a suck precedent as people are doing it everywhere now.


10 posted on 07/26/2014 11:05:51 AM PDT by magna carta
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To: ThE_RiPpEr.

“Croninger said the resolution reached in the case is not intended to minimize the chief’s actions but that it is fair for someone who has no criminal record, enrolled in counseling and is not a threat while undergoing treatment.”

An active police chief is not just ‘someone!


11 posted on 07/26/2014 11:14:24 AM PDT by TalBlack (Evil doesn't have a day job.)
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To: magna carta

There is a risk that it can set a bad precedent if we were to lose. However, they passed a law without any facts to support their position. We have the facts and evidence to support our side and video evidence of mistreatment by the town and its police.

Their defense relied heavily upon the integrity of the Police Chief. That integrity went out the window with his juvenile harassment against us.

We are very confident we will ultimately prevail.


12 posted on 07/26/2014 11:29:22 AM PDT by ThE_RiPpEr.
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To: ThE_RiPpEr.

It should be a felony charge.


13 posted on 07/26/2014 1:08:29 PM PDT by july4thfreedomfoundation (I don't want to feel "safe." I want to feel FREE!)
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To: ThE_RiPpEr.

Being a local resident of the LaCrosse area having watched this play out over the last year, my opinion is that you will not prevail in the federal lawsuit. Any sane judge will look at the fact that there is a major reconstruction of the bridge between WI/MN going on which extends into the Town of Campbell on I-90. The town board had every right to ban protesters from the bridge at this time and any other with the lane closures and multiple on off ramps and exits in the proximity. Skirting around the sign ordinance wearing t-shirts instead of holding signs is juvenile at best.

Even without the construction, protesting on the bridge is a dangerous distraction - that is the town’s defense not the police chiefs integrity. He and his police officers were simply enforcing an ordinance that they were required to enforce by the town board. They did so calmly and patiently in the face of taunts, threats both in person and thru written and audio communications, and grave bodily harm. Fact - multiple death threats were made to various officers. The LaCrosse tea party was and is doing all they can to make their jobs miserable. Did they make the death threat calls personally - not sure but did they disseminate personal information on the town board member and police officers on multiple websites to entice others to harass for them in their stead, yes. Thus we have local tea party members who can throw their hands up and pretend they have no part in the viciousness of what has happened to law enforcement officers doing their required jobs. I for one do not condone this behavior nor should any “tea party” member.

It is very unfortunate that the self described local tea party leader is such an extremist - he, his cohorts and their antics give all rational tea party members a bad name. There are leftist extremists - we on the right have our own as well....

Ironically (and sadly) there was a multi-car accident with a fatality and multiple critical injuries not more than a few days ago almost directly under the bridge being argued about. It is not a safe area for distractions - there is no argument on that.

http://lacrossetribune.com/news/local/update-killed-critically-injured-in-interstate-crash/article_99ad2e99-df45-54f4-9528-ff8b6933cdd2.html

What this police chief did was inexcusable. On the same front what the local tea party has done and is doing behind the scenes to entice harassment and threats towards the police is inexcusable as well. There are no winners here. The Lacrosse Tea Party is doing what we often complain about - using the politics of personal destruction on local law enforcement officials. To achieve our means politically we tea party members should hold ourselves to a higher standard than those we oppose.

Finally, being a catholic I am frankly surprised that the Thomas More Law Center did not do a more thorough check on who they are representing. They did not pick a winner in this case.


14 posted on 07/26/2014 2:03:58 PM PDT by MissH
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To: MissH

MissH, Do you not understand the danger of government using temporary safety issues to permanently strip us of our first amendment rights?? That is what is happening here.

Let me ask you this, do you think we would have sued them if the ordinance was just temporary and would have went away after completion of the project?

The US Supreme court just ruled 9-0 against those that had set limits on how far away one had to be on a public sidewalk in front of an abortion clinic. The town also passed an arbitrary 100 foot rule to keep protestors 100 feet away from all overpasses (public sidewalk). Why 100 feet, why not 90 feet or 115 feet. We will win on this point, no question.

Your comment of us “Skirting around the sign ordinance wearing t-shirts instead of holding signs is juvenile at best” really shows your ignorance. Nowhere in the ordinance did it address wearing clothing. This was intentionally done to prove that the town was “chilling” free speech.

Your comment “Even without the construction, protesting on the bridge is a dangerous distraction”. How so? There are scrolling marquee signs, LED billboards, etc. all along this stretch that takes your eyes off the road. We were in line of sight. This stretch of interstate was no more dangerous than anywhere else in the state and the traffic flow is excellent. These protests are occurring in over 500 cities across the nation. Not once has an accident occurred as a result of these protests.

There could be ten more accidents or deaths at that location during this construction. It has no bearing on the lawsuit. The case was about what occurred before the construction and what will happen after the construction.

As far as you blaming the local Tea Party and you personally trying to make us look bad by claiming all of the calls, emails and threats they were receiving, were occurring because of the local Tea Party is ridiculous. This is a national story and we are shaking the tree of liberty. If a few nuts fell off, do not blame us. We are using the legal process to fight this and your comments do nothing to advance the cause of freedom and liberty.


15 posted on 07/26/2014 4:12:19 PM PDT by ThE_RiPpEr.
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To: MissH

90% of your post is irrelevant to the case against the chief.


16 posted on 07/26/2014 6:16:13 PM PDT by Half Vast Conspiracy (Settled science.)
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To: ThE_RiPpEr.

That is the beauty of our American legal system - this will be resolved in a court of law. What is not necessary is the harassment of good police officers by those who claim to be for “liberty and freedom” but only when it suits them. You are now acting like the extremists we despise on the other side of the aisle.

You personally in your past comments on Free Republic have published the personal phone numbers of the town board members and police officers. You have asked that others forward this information on to other websites. When suddenly there are 300-400 vile and harrassing phone calls a day (including death threats) and thousands of e-mails crippling the ability of a small town police department to protect the public your response is that a few acorns fell off the tree? Your tactics have gone to far. There are more than a few nuts that fell off the proverbial tree of liberty on this and I think you and the local tea party have engaged in and encouraged tactics that do nothing to further the cause of conservatism. You give the rest of us legitimately striving to forward the conservative cause further hurdles to jump.


17 posted on 07/26/2014 6:50:19 PM PDT by MissH
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To: ThE_RiPpEr.

do you have a feel for the composition of the judges...court system you will face? 1A friendly?


18 posted on 07/26/2014 7:18:39 PM PDT by magna carta
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To: MissH
I am frankly surprised that the Thomas More Law Center did not do a more thorough check on who they are representing. They did not pick a winner in this case.

I think you will find that the TMLC has a better handle on the big picture than you do. You have focused on the little picture at the local level and missed the fact that permanent restrictions on speech (using a temporary safety issue) cannot be allowed to stand, or they will spring up all over in an attempt to stifle speech that the overlords don't like.

I also have a hard time believing that a police chief who would stoop to such a nasty immature act of retaliation is a good leader that makes sure his officers behave in a constitutional manner. There is no excuse for that behavior. It was a very unprincipled act, indicative of complete lack of character.

Furthermore, public servants, whether police or board members who can't take the heat of public discourse, should take President Truman's advice and get out of the kitchen.

19 posted on 07/26/2014 8:49:20 PM PDT by Valpal1 (If the police can t solve a problem with violence, they ll find a way to fix it with brute force)
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To: magna carta

It has not gone to trial yet, but we are not excited about the Federal Judge. It appears to be an 7th district Obama appointee. So we feel we may have a need to appeal, but the police chief has now proven our point about him not being honest and it will be difficult for any judge to look past that.


20 posted on 07/26/2014 8:53:30 PM PDT by ThE_RiPpEr.
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To: ThE_RiPpEr.

This thug with a badge should be prosecuted under 18USC242 and then sued into bankruptcy under the related Civil statutes.


21 posted on 07/26/2014 8:58:31 PM PDT by Lurker (Violence is rarely the answer. But when it is it is the only answer.)
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To: MissH

I asked for people in Free Republic to contact the board members before they voted on the unconstitutional ordinances. Nowhere in this did I ask them to be harassed nor did I urge them to contact the police department.

You are a liar and would be better served posting at the DUmmy site. Your “go along to get along” attitude is what is causing us to lose our once great nation.

________________________________

Here is what I posted before the vote was to take place.

Please help us protect our right to free speech by contacting the following Town of Campbell Board Members; tell them to support the First Amendment by voting NO on both ordinances and you would donate money to sue them in Federal court.

NO to Section 9.11 of the Town of Campbell Code of Ordinances relating to bridge and overpass safety

No to Section 11.11 (G) (22) of the Town of Campbell Code of Ordinances relating to sign regulations

Scott Johnson Town Chairman 608-781-6840
Jeff Schroeder Utility District Supervisor 608-769-0836
Pat Post Health, Education, and Welfare Supervisor 608-781-2197
David LaFond Streets and Road Supervisor 608-783-5107
David Wilder Park and Rec Supervisor 608-781-1676 Chadwick Hawkins Clerk/Treasurer 608-783-0050

We urged the democratic process to petition our politicians to keep them from passing bad law.


22 posted on 07/26/2014 9:08:41 PM PDT by ThE_RiPpEr.
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To: ThE_RiPpEr.

I will be praying for you guys. My lawyer is just about finished writing a brief for my case on a false arrest while protesting on a median.Thanks for filling me in on this. I have a FB page/website: Stop the Magnet if you want to visit sometime.


23 posted on 07/27/2014 6:11:34 AM PDT by magna carta
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To: ThE_RiPpEr.; Alaska Wolf; TexasFreeper2009; DCBryan1; Slings and Arrows; Doomonyou; ...
JBT Ping list


24 posted on 07/27/2014 7:21:57 PM PDT by null and void (If Bill Clinton was the first black president, why isn't Barack Obama the first woman president?)
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To: null and void
Love that graphic. 😄
25 posted on 07/27/2014 9:53:20 PM PDT by skinkinthegrass (The end move in politics is always to pick up a weapon...0'Mullah / "Rustler" Reid? d8-)
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To: skinkinthegrass


Me too!


26 posted on 07/28/2014 6:30:56 AM PDT by TheOldLady
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