Hortonville leaders discuss fate of police chief

Hortonville Police Chief Michael Sullivan

HORTONVILLE, Wis. (WBAY) – The Hortonville Village Board met in closed session Thursday evening to discuss the fate of the police chief.

Michael Sullivan was placed on administrative leave October 21. Village officials have not given a reason for that decision so far.

What began as a closed door meeting of the Hortonville village board lasting almost an hour to discuss police chief Michael Sullivan quickly shifted outside as residents waited, wanting answers about why the chief was taken off the job.

“We would just like to know what he’s been charged with, you know? So it’s baffling. How can they just take the chief of police and say go sit down? That’s not right,” said Bill Hauser of Hortonville.

Those residents later packed the village board’s regular meeting, voicing concerns even though the status of the chief wasn’t on the agenda.

Chief Sullivan spoke after the meeting.

“I appreciate everybody coming out and supporting me. The way I’ve been treated is just completely unfair, and it is,” he said. “The citizens elected these individuals and the whole group should make a decision, but I appreciate all the support. It’s been awesome.”

The chief says he’s aware of some of the reasons for the action taken by village officials but would not disclose them.

The fire department started a petition to reinstate Sullivan. So far it has more than a hundred signatures.

“Not only does he take his job seriously he’s very fair, he’s honest and he’s very hardworking,” said firefighter Tom Banker.

No one from the village board would comment about the situation. If there is action taken against Chief Sullivan it would have to come from the police and fire commission during an upcoming meeting.

Sullivan has been with the department since 2003. Before that, he worked in Combined Locks and Sun Prairie.

An attorney for Sullivan told us a statement would be released sometime Friday morning.