Commissioner's retirement ended probe

Retired Sauk County Highway Commissioner Steve Muchow's former work truck sits outside the agency's West Baraboo headquarters in this August 2017 file photo.

In June, readers learned details of a personnel investigation that preceded the retirement of Sauk County’s longtime highway czar.

Documents revealed that Highway Commissioner Steve Muchow's retirement in April prompted county officials to drop a probe into numerous allegations raised by his employees.

Allegations included that Muchow repeatedly used county property for personal reasons, misrepresented financial information, manipulated bids, misused his relationships with private businesses and falsified timecards.

Muchow has denied any wrongdoing, and said he was not aware of the probe when he decided to retire.

In August, the newspaper published a story that showed Sauk County Sheriff Chip Meister had declined to investigate criminal allegations against Muchow, or forward them to an outside agency.

The story also revealed that Muchow and Meister were part of a social group that met monthly for breakfast, and included a firsthand account of the two men dining together at a North Freedom restaurant.

The article prompted Meister to ask the Wisconsin Department of Justice to review his decision. The DOJ later confirmed it had opened an investigation into the allegations against Muchow, which is ongoing.

In November, the newspaper obtained emails that supported one of the employees' allegations. The documents showed Muchow asked the salesman for a company that sells heavy duty trucks to the county for tickets to a NASCAR race in Las Vegas.

Follow Tim Damos on Twitter @timdamos

Reporter for the Baraboo News Republic.