JUNEAU—Former Mayville Police Chief Christopher MacNeill, 49, was charged Monday with misconduct in public office and obstructing an officer.
The complaint filed in Dodge County Circuit Court Monday, provides details about an investigation conducted by the Wisconsin Department of Justice. Division of Criminal Investigation agents started an investigation in the fall of 2016.
MacNeill, who resigned March 31, also was investigated by the Watertown Police Department at the request of Mayville Mayor Rob Boelk. Boelk’s request came after the DCI served a search warrant on the city of Mayville Feb. 6, 2017. Boelk placed MacNeill on paid administrative leave Feb. 9.
The criminal complaint offers many of the same details as the investigation report from Watertown. According to both, MacNeill altered a report about the son of a former Mayville police officer.
The report written by Mayville police officer Tony Trunkel originally stated that a 17-year-old boy had two Vicodin pills at Mayville High School on Jan. 13, 2011, and that he swallowed one with a soda and handed one to another student who did the same thing. A teacher caught them in the act.
The student served a five-day suspension, according to school officials interviewed by Watertown police.
The report originally classified the matter as a drug investigation and labeled the teen as a “suspect.”
MacNeill told DCI investigators during a Feb. 6 interview that he changed the report label from “Drug Complaint” to “miscellaneous” or “high school” complaint. The DCI investigators showed MacNeill a copy of the original complaint written by Trunkel. They had obtained that complaint from former Mayville Police Chief William Linzenmeyer Sr., who retired in 2011.
Linzenmeyer told DCI investigators that he made a copy of the complaint and preserved it when he left office because MacNeill had asked him to change the report at the time of the incident and he was concerned that it could be changed after he retired. According to investigators, the records were changed in August 2011, a few months after Linzenmeyer retired.
MacNeill told DCI investigators that he changed the report because the police officer’s son was trying to get into the military. But when he was provided the original complaint, MacNeill denied making changes to the extent he observed in the report.
Investigators found the report went from six pages to four and witness statements were removed. Also removed were any references to the drug in question being Vicodin.
Watertown investigators concluded that although MacNeill denies removing the statements or drug references. “All of these changes ... are consistent with the changes Chief MacNeill admits to making and in the same spirit and intent Chief MacNeill says he used to justify making the changes he admits to.”
MacNeill also said he discussed changes to the report with Trunkel, but Trunkel told DCI investigators that he did not discuss making any changes.
The investigation has sparked a secondary investigation into the actions of a Beaver Dam police officer. William Linzenmeyer Sr. had a medical problem while being interviewed on Feb. 20 by Watertown investigators.
The Watertown investigators ended the interview and 911 was called.
While they were leaving the two were told that Bill Linzenmeyer Jr., a police officer in Beaver Dam, was on his way to his father’s house. The report said they wanted to leave before having a confrontation with Linzenmeyer Jr.
But a few blocks away, at the corner of Emmer and Breckenridge streets, they were confronted by Linzenmeyer Jr., who was in a pickup truck and according to their report was wearing a Beaver Dam Police Department uniform including body armor. The report states that Linzenmeyer Jr. was using profanity and acted in an aggressive manner after he exited the truck and began to yell at the two Watertown officers.
According to the report, Linzenmeyer Jr. got back in his truck and left when one of the officers contacted the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office via radio.
The Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Office and the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s office are investigating that incident.