THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
Rick Badgley Is Tapped As Interim Peshtigo Police Chief
Issue Date: June 28, 2018
Sgt. Rick Badgley, a veteran member of the Peshtigo Police Department, is being tapped to serve as interim chief until a permanent replacement can be hired. The resignation of outgoing Peshtigo Police Chief Joseph FitzGerald becomes effective at noon on Friday, June 29, and Badgley will take over.
The city is advertising for a permanent new chief. Ads have been placed in the Peshtigo Times and on WILENET.org, theWisconsin Law Enforcement Network website administered by the Wisconsin Department of Justice, Training and Standards Bureau.
Applications will be accepted until Friday, July 20, after which the Personnel Committee will review applications and set up interviews. It is possible a new chief could be approved at the Council's August meeting.
On Monday, June 18, FitzGerald submitted a letter of resignation to Clerk/Treasurer Tammy Kasal stating that he was terminating his position in Peshtigo effective at noon on Friday, June 29 because he had accepted a position as police chief in Hesperia, Mich., to be closer to his family.
Methods for handling the quickly approaching vacancy were discussed by City Council's Personnel Committee in closed sessions for 45 minutes on Friday, June 22 and again for approximately an hour and a half on Tuesday, June 26.
In the meeting room for the June 26 closed session that began at 3 p.m. and lasted until 4:30 p.m. were Aldermen Debbie Sievert, Jillian Schutte, and Mike Behnke, all members of the committee, plus Alderman Archer Leupp, City Attorney David Spangenberg, Clerk Tammy Kassal, and for most of the meeting, Mayor Cathi Malke. Badgley was in the room for approximately an hour, and FitzGerald was there briefly.
When the committee returned to open session Spangenberg advised that as Mayor, Malke has legal authority to appoint whoever she wants as interim chief. However, apparently based on the closed door discussions, he suggested that the committee approve a motion asking Malke to appoint Badgley as interim chief. That motion was made and approved. The committee then approved a second motion to place the ads for applicants to fill the Police Chief post on a permanent basis.
City Council will be asked to ratify those actions at its next regular meeting, which is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 3.
Also at the July 3 meeting Council will be asked to formally accept FitzGerald's resignation, as well as the resignation of Lt. Steven Rohde after 31 years as a member of the Peshtigo Fire Department. Rohde has accepted a new job in the Madison area and will be moving there.
Agenda for the July 3 Council meeting is not yet finalized, but action on some transfers recommended by the Finance Committee is expected. There may also be recommendations from the UDAG Committee, which was to meet at 3 p.m. Wednesday, June 27, and the Streets and Drainage Committee, which had not scheduled a firm meeting date by press time on Wednesday.