Butler police officer charged with misconduct in office

WAUKESHA CO. (WITI) -- During an investigation into the Butler Police Department, investigators uncovered a series of photos of a woman that appeared to have been taken inside the Village of Butler Police Department.

According to a criminal complaint, Lt. Brian Pergande arrested the woman the night of September 8th, 2009. The woman was working as an exotic dancer during the time of the arrest.

The complaint states Lt. Pergande told the woman she had a warrant out and took her into custody. The officer transported the woman to the Butler Police Department where he allegedly took four photos of her in front of a whiteboard.

The photos were not consistent with standard booking photos. Instead, the complaint says, two of the photos focused only on the woman's breasts.

According to the complaint, Lt. Pergande allegedly found a straw during a search of the woman's personal property. The officer informed the woman the straw tested positive for cocaine. The woman denies having any type of straw and says if she did, it would not test positive for cocaine.

Further reports indicate that Lt. Pergande took photos of the woman with what appeared to be a regular digital camera. The woman also told investigators she thought it was strange that the officer never took her fingerprints. In addition, the woman says Lt. Pergande said she would be transported to the Waukesha County Jail and never told her why she was taken to the Butler Police Department in the first place.

The complaint states Lt. Pergande placed a business card, with his cell phone number written on it, in the woman's bag when she was taken to jail. The officer allegedly told the woman she needed to call him when she was out of jail.

The woman was not able to post the approximately $1,300 bail and ended up serving 52 days in jail. After being released, the woman was visibly pregnant and never heard back from Lt. Pergande.

Administrators and officers with the Village of Butler Police Department say they were not able to locate any incident reports involving the woman possessing drug paraphernalia, and nothing was ever inventoried as evidence in the case.

Further, officials with the Village of Butler Police Department said normal booking procedures occur at either the Waukesha County Jail or the Waukesha County Sheriff's Department -- not at the Village of Butler Police Department.

Lt. Pergande has been charged with misconduct in office in connection with the case. If convicted, he could face up to 3 1/2 years in prison and $10,000 in fines.