Owen police chief resigns amid misconduct allegations

OWEN, Wis.  — A central Wisconsin police chief accused of abusing his power and misusing public resources has resigned.

Owen Mayor Charles Milliren confirmed that Andrew Schade submitted his resignation on Wednesday. The Owen City Council had ordered an investigation into Schade after suspecting that he had failed to enforce city, county and state laws.

"I think he saw the writing on the wall," Milliren said of Schade's resignation.

Dunn County Sheriff's Sgt. Todd Kurtzahls conducted the investigation. His report submitted on Dec. 13 said Schade neglected basic job duties and misused city resources. It also accused Schade of failing to arrest obvious drunken drivers, giving a ride and cash to a woman who violated her jail-release terms by taking drugs, using police department resources to buy a personal firearm, trying to disqualify a friend's political opponent and other charges.

In an interview, Schade told Kurtzahls that "everything that was going on, my officers leaving, no support from the council, being overwhelmed at that point I had a great deal of stress and weight of everything on my shoulders. It wasn't that I didn't want to do my job it was just all over the stress and everything at that point."

The city board's president, Pam Jaffke, has filed several charges against Schade based on the report findings. Those charges include a failure to preserve the health safety, public peace and social order of the city and its residents.

Schade had been placed on paid administrative leave since September.