The chief of police in a small Wisconsin town is in hot water after authorities determined he was behind a disturbing plot to sully the reputation of community conservatives.
Campbell Police Chief Tim Kelemen is facing misdemeanor charges related to allegedly signing a Tea Party leader up for accounts on a number of alarming websites. According to the Associated Press, Kelemen set Greg Luce up for membership on pornographic, homosexual dating, and even government healthcare sites.
“There’s not really any factual dispute about what took place,” said Monroe County District Attorney Kevin Coninger. Despite Kelemen’s confession to the outrageous behavior, however, Coninger is seeking only a misdemeanor – unlawful use of a computerized communication system – conviction in the case.
While he could pursue more serious charges, the prosecutor said it would be difficult to prove the motive necessary behind them.
“This is more of a harassing situation than to harm someone’s reputation,” he asserted. “That is the distinction I see.”
The bad blood between Kelemen and Luce apparently arose when the latter staged overpass protests in the town nearly a year ago. When the city banned such public displays per Kelemen’s insistence, his attorney claims that Luce called on other conservative activists to call the police department en masse to express their disappointment.
Even though at least some of the activity took place at city hall, Croninger claims Kelemen was not acting in his capacity as police chief during his alleged commission of the crime. Even if convicted, he would still reportedly be able to maintain his position of authority.
As for Luce, he is still awaiting his day in federal court regarding a lawsuit against Kelemen for identity theft. The suit also asserts that a ban on the overpass protests is a violation of the First Amendment.
Interrogation footage shows Kelemen’s initial denial that he was involved and his ultimate admission of guilt.
Photo Credit: YouTube/TheLAXTeaParty
BCN editor’s note: This article first appeared at Western Journalism.