The Viroqua Police Commission held a meeting and public hearing Nov. 30 to discuss charges filed by the mayor against Chief of Police Richard Niedfeldt.
Niedfeldt has been on paid leave.
According to News 8 Now/News 8000, Mayor Justin Running filed five charges against Niedfeldt. The charges relate to insubordination, failing to report the harassment of a fellow officer and lying to the public.
News 8 Now/News 8000 reported: “The mayor also accused the chief of communicating with the public without former mayor Karen Mischel’s authorization, and lying to a citizen about the number of public meetings regarding the department’s ‘Thin Blue Line’ logo.
“The mayor also accused Niedfeldt of labeling an officer as ‘Under Investigation’ in a database, which was inaccurate.”
Charles Wenten, former Grafton police chief, conducted the investigation.
News 8 Now/News 8000 also reported that the Viroqua police chief is also accused of failing to follow the mayor’s orders, and failing to meet and create a traffic report. During his testimony, Niedfeldt denied each accusation.
The police commission heard from several witnesses. After about five hours of testimony, the police commission called for a recess, and plans to review a transcript of the hearing when they meet Dec. 7.
Niedfeldt started his job as Viroqua’s police chief on Sept. 30, 2019.
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