The village of Hortonville issued a formal statement Monday, March 2, regarding its former Village Administrator Patrick Vaile, along with documentation related to an open records request filed by the Press-Star on Friday, Feb. 13.
Vaile served as village administrator since 2011. He resigned from his employment on Feb. 10 without explanation. On Feb. 11, he was charged with 16 counts of possession of child pornography in Outagamie County Circuit Court.
The Press-Star filed an open records request for a letter the village received in 2013, which raised questions about Vaile’s past alleged inappropriate behavior while employed elsewhere.
The anonymous letter forwarded to village board members in 2013, was signed, “A concerned citizen.”
In the letter the author alleged, child porn played a role in Vaile being dismissed from a previous job. The letter called for an investigation into Vaile’s past and asked if any type of pre-employment history was done before he was hired in Hortonville.
The March 2 statement from the village said: “In 2012 the village of Hortonville received information that Patrick Vaile had been terminated from his previous employment. As a result, the Village looked into the circumstances surrounding that situation. Based upon the information known at that time, the Village Board of Trustees decided that no further action be taken regarding Mr. Vaile’s employment status.
“In 2013 the Village received an anonymous letter with various allegations against Mr. Vaile, again relating back to matters prior to his employment with the Village of Hortonville. Given the Board’s earlier due diligence on similar allegations and having found no workplace issues, no action was taken at that time.”
On Feb. 19, the village board approved posting the village administrator vacancy, and approved a more stringent hiring process that will include a full investigative background check, a review of the check, and could include a psychological exam. Candidates will also be asked to sign a disclosure agreement.
A preliminary hearing set for Vaile on Thursday, Feb. 26 in Outagamie County Circuit Court Branch 3 was changed to Thursday, March 12 at 2:30 p.m.