Supervisor illegally had gun at county board meeting: sheriff

The Washington County Sheriff's Office has referred criminal charges against a county supervisor who allegedly concealed a gun illegally at a March 9 board meeting.

Supervisor Timothy Michalak, who is also Hartford's mayor, allegedly did not have a valid concealed carry permit when the gun in question dropped from his waistband.

According to the sheriff's office, Michalak was talking with another county employee before the start of a committee meeting when the gun fell to the floor beneath a table.

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The county employee picked up the gun thinking it was a cellphone, the sheriff's office said, but realized it was a holstered firearm. It was handed back to Michalak, who again concealed it. 

The Washington County Board of Supervisors meetings have been held at the sheriff's office for several months due to the remodeling of the normal chambers, officials said.

Washington County Sheriff's Office

State law states that people with a valid concealed carry permit can carry firearms in government buildings. However, they cannot carry them in public safety buildings, such as a sheriff's office. People who don't have a concealed carry permit cannot have a concealed gun in any government building.

The investigation found, according to the sheriff's office, that Michalak's permit had expired at the time of the incident.

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According to the sheriff's office, Michalak implied that, as an elected official, he thought he was exempt from the law and could have his gun inside police departments and the sheriff’s office.

A source inside Hartford City Hall told FOX6 News they've seen it happen before – allegedly at an October 2021 city council meeting. The sheriff's office told FOX6 it is aware of that incident, but is only investigating the March incident because it happened in their jurisdiction.

Timothy Michalak allegedly drops gun during October 2021 meeting

Based on the investigation, detectives requested charges of carrying a concealed weapon and carrying a firearm in a public building.

FOX6 made several attempts to reach Michalak for comment on Friday, but did not hear back. The mayor is up for reelection on April 5, and is running unopposed in that race. He is also running unopposed for his county supervisor seat.

Statement from Washington County Sheriff Martin Schulteis:

"As soon as I heard about the incident, I directed our investigators to conduct a full investigation. Typically, we do not release identifying information before formal charges are filed; however, this case involves a public official and an alleged act done while he was performing in his official capacity in a public venue. In the interest of transparency, and the public’s right to know, I have deemed releasing this information as appropriate. This is an unfortunate event, by someone with a proven track record of public service and public safety support, but the community needs to trust that public officials are also held accountable to the people and the laws of this state."

Statement from County Board Chair Donald Kriefall:

County leadership has been advised that the Sheriff's Office has requested the District Attorney to issue charges of carrying a concealed weapon and carrying a firearm in a public building against Washington County District 17 Supervisors, Timothy C. Michalak, based upon a recent incident and investigation. County leadership is taking these allegations seriously and has taken the step of hiring independent counsel to further investigate this matter and to advise the County Board accordingly.

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