Wisconsin police chief pleads no contest in tea party flap

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keleman

Campbell Police Chief Tim Kelemen. - PHOTO: Courtesy

A police chief in Wisconsin pleaded no contest last week to a charge that he signed a local tea party leader up on gay dating, pornography and federal health care websites.

Prosecutors charged Town of Campbell Police Chief Tim Kelemen earlier this month with one misdemeanor count of unlawful use of a computerized communication system. The La Crosse Tribune reported Kelemen entered the plea in a deal that calls for the charge to be dismissed in two years if he doesn't commit any new crimes, continues counseling and completes 40 hours of community service.

The charge stems from a feud between Kelemen and tea party leader Greg Luce. It began last fall when the tea party began holding protests on an interstate overpass in Campbell. Concerned the protests were distracting drivers, Kelemen persuaded the town board to ban signs on the bridge.

Kelemen told investigators Luce urged tea party supporters across the U.S. to bombard his department with harassing phone calls and threats in retaliation for the ordinance.

Kelemen told investigators he tried to get back at Luce this winter by using his name, address, phone number and email address to create accounts for Luce on homosexual dating, pornography and federal health care websites. He told investigators he didn't think what he was doing was a big deal.

La Crosse police turned the case over to Monroe County authorities.

Luce told Monroe County Circuit Judge David Rice on Friday that Kelemen is getting away with a "slap on the wrist." He said he thinks Kelemen has suffered a psychological breakdown and shouldn't be allowed to carry a gun or wear a badge again.

Kelemen didn't address the court.

Luce has filed a lawsuit in federal court alleging the sign ordinance violates his free speech rights and demanding damages from Kelemen for stealing his identity. The town board has placed Kelemen on paid leave.

Comments 

0 1 ThomOfWI 2014-08-09 07:38
The town board should have terminated Kelemen since he violated his oath of office. His response not thinking what he did was not a big deal is a joke since he has a degree in criminal law enforcement and knows the laws better most of everyone in his jurisdiction. Putting him on paid leave is a code for, as soon as the heat is off you can be our chief again. Vote out the town board for their you pat my back then we pat yours mentality.
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