Clintonville Mayor Judy Magee continues to be the center of a Chapter 17 complaint.
Over the past month, the Clintonville City Council has discussed the complaint in closed session at least three times. Also during that time, no information has been released regarding the claim, other than a statement from Council President Jeannie Schley at the Jan. 13 council meeting.
“The council is pursuing options to meet the legal obligations of the Chapter 17 complaint for respecting due process and providing a timely response,” Schley announced at that meeting after reconvening in open session.
The Clintonville Tribune-Gazette recently obtained a copy of the complaint, which was filed by Clintonville resident Tricia Rose. In the complaint, dated Dec. 5, 2014, Rose stated that “Wisconsin State Statute 17.12 (1)(a): Elective officers (may be removed) by recall as provided in s. 9.10, or by the common council , for cause.”
Rose then cited some of the statute.
She stated that her letter was to serve as a formal written complaint against Magee. Rose cited the following charges: “1. Misconduct in office, 2. Abuse of power, 3. Theft of property, 4. Willfully destroying public property, 5. Releasing confidential information, 6. Concealing a crime.”
No specifics of the charges were included.
Rose concluded the complaint by stating, “In accordance with the state statutes, I would expect a speedy hearing will be scheduled to hear the evidence against. Ms. Magee.”
On Dec. 30, Rose submitted an amended complaint. This one contained specific examples for each of the six charges.
Among the allegations brought up in the complaint, Rose accused Magee of lying on several occasions.
She also alleged that Magee helped get her kicked out of the Clintonville Rotary Club. Rose claimed she received a letter from the Rotary “revoking” her membership for ethical violations.
The Tribune-Gazette contacted the Rotary to verify that. The Rotary issued the following statement, “”In August of 2014, the Clintonville Rotary Club received a letter of resignation from Tricia Rose.”
Magee’s city cellphone was also wiped clean according to Rose.
Rose accused Magee of releasing confidential information when she was not supposed to.
At the end of the amended complaint she also added to the comment about a speedy hearing, “unless the city should decide to preempt the process by relieving Magee of her duties in a more timely fashion of their own accord.”
Chapter 17 complaint
Chapter 17 of Wisconsin State Statutes deals with resignations, vacancies, and removals from office of elected officials.
Wisconsin State Statute 17.12 deals specifically with removal and suspension of city officers. It states elected officers can be removed by recall or by the common council, with cause.
Section (d) of the statute states, “Removals by the common council may be made only by an affirmative vote of three-fourths of all the members thereof, and by any other body consisting of 3 or more members, by an affirmative vote of two-thirds of all the members thereof.”
Statute 17.16 deals with the procedure of removals. Part of the procedure calls for written verified charges to be brought by a resident taxpayer against an officer.
The procedure also involves a “speedy public hearing at which the officer shall have full opportunity to be heard to present a defense against the charges, personally and by counsel.”
If a hearing and investigation is held, those who are called to testify must do so according to statute 17.16 (7)(a).
The statute states, “No person may be excused from testifying or from producing evidence on the hearing for the reason that the testimony, documentary or otherwise, required of him or her may tend to incriminate him or her, but no person so testifying may be prosecuted for or on account of testifying or producing any documentary evidence, except for perjury committed in giving the testimony.”