Prescott Police Questions Continue

Continuing discoveries have been made this week with the story we first told you about on August 17th. Following the passing of Prescott Wisconsin Police Chief, Gary Krutke, KDWA news asked questions of the Prescott city council and other city leaders to determine if possible impropriety took place within the police department in the months leading up to and immediately following the chief’s death. Initially, records were requested to determine the cause for the sudden firing of 2 officers just hours after the August 5th passing of Chief Krutke. Citing data privacy laws, those requests were declined. An administrative assistant, who worked in the police department,Erin Most, was also dismissed suddenly on August 2nd, for unspecified reasons. Both officers, had been approved for hire by the Prescott Police commission in summer of 2016 as the late chief informed the council that more officers were needed to cover the workload of the department. We were present outside a closed door session July 31st as the police commission viewed employee personnel files for those fired. The officers involved were not informed that a meeting would be held to discuss those files and they were not present to provide their statements to the commission. It has also been revealed that none of the records presented to the commission at that time bore the signature of the late chief, although most incidents cited were represented to have occurred during his tenure. Copies of issues brought to the commission, have since been discoved to have been placed in those files just the day before the meeting. Interim Chief Funk and 2 sergeants were present during that meeting,in addition to chair William Pryor and city administrator Jayne Brand. KDWA then requested documents including the timesheets for interim chief Robert Funk. Examination of those timecards show a pattern of overtime hours that were also called into question by the commission and by the council in May of this year for exceeding expected pay totals. According to a statement by the city administrator, the hours reflected additional work for the Douglas Bailey murder case, which was completed in December of 2016. Overtime marked for Robert Funk during those months totaled approximately $9,000. We also requested the timecards and payout records for Sergeant Erik Michaels, Sergeant Mark Schultz and Jesse Neely dating back to September of 2016, which are expected to be received yet this week. Related records also indicate that a 2,500 bonus was approved at the August 7th closed door meeting, giving Funk additional back pay for duties he supposedly shouldered during the final weeks of Chief Krutke’s life. At that time he also received the full power to hire and fire personnel unilaterally without additional input from the commission. The commission also approved a salary for the interim chief at 70,000 dollars. As our investigation continues, we await receipt of additional documents, including a 6 week gap of Police daily activity logs that have not been received that should provide a clearer look at the department’s use of taxpayer dollars.

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