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Wednesday

August 2014

27

Pergande resigns from Butler Police Department

Village of Butler — Days before a scheduling hearing in front of a retired Waukesha County judge was set, a Butler police officer with sweeping allegations against him has resigned from his position.

Police Lt. Brian Pergande has officially left the department.

The scheduling hearing was to set parameters for a hearing later this month that would have addressed possible termination charges. In the past year, Pergande has faced a range of allegations, including being one of four officers who used excessive force during an arrest.

Kayla Chadwick, Butler’s village administrator-clerk, issued a one-sentence news release on Thursday, July 10. Chadwick’s statement confirmed Pergande tendered his resignation Monday, July 7, and it was accepted by Police Chief David Wentlandt and the full Village Board the following date.

Pergande was to have met with retired Waukesha County Circuit Court Judge Robert G. Mawdsley on July 10 — the date the village announced Pergande’s resignation — to discuss scheduling for the disciplinary hearing.

Prior to submitting his resignation, Pergande had been on paid administrative leave for more than a year as he faced multiple charges of neglect of duty, unbecoming conduct, immoral conduct, unsatisfactory performance, abuse of power and failure to abide by numerous department policies.

One of the higher profile incidents against Pergande involved inappropriately photographing a female suspect. The situation came to light when the Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department conducted an investigation into the department in the immediate aftermath of former Police Chief Michael Cosgrove’s actions within the department.

Early this year, Pergande also was one of four officers named in a federal lawsuit after a New Berlin man alleged he was treated with excessive force during an arrest in May 2011. In addition to Pergande, that lawsuit names the village itself, Cosgrove and officers Nicholas Boyle and Joel Fus.

While the dismissal process against Pergande has been completed, he is due back in court on Friday, July 18, for a hearing concerning the alleged inappropriate photos of the woman.

The legal costs against Pergande and other officers accused of misconduct within the Butler Police Department have been costly for village taxpayers.

 

Pergande, who was placed on paid administrative leave by village officials in April 2013, had been receiving his $96,000 annual salary and benefits prior to tendering his resignation.

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