Hortonville police chief suspension criticized at village board meeting

Hortonville Police Chief Michael Sullivan
(Photo: WBAY)

HORTONVILLE, Wis. (WBAY) – A man representing the Hortonville police force is protesting their chief’s two-week suspension.

He spoke in front of the village board Thursday night, criticizing the punishment they handed down.

Chief Michael Sullivan was accused of violating employee rights, making discriminatory comments against women and minorities and lying during an internal investigation.

Some people in the village say more should have been done.

While nothing was on the agenda pertaining to Hortonville Police Chief Michael Sullivan and his two weeks suspension, the village board still heard from people — most of whom were upset.

This included Jim Palmer of the Wisconsin Professional Police Association.

“Chief Sullivan was found to have abused his authority, misused taxpayer resources for personal reasons, and he violated a direct order. For any police commission to make such a finding and only impose a two weeks suspension is outrageous,” said Palmer.

Palmer spoke on behalf of the Hortonville police officers who serve under Sullivan, who he says were often witnesses to Sullivan’s abuse of power.

Others in the audience shared concern, too.

LuWan Visocky of Hortonville said, “I’m a business owner in town, and I fear what will happen if the town continues to be run like the good ol’ boys club. I fear for my business in retaliation for public speaking today, but I fear more for what will happen if I didn’t urge in the strongest way possible that the board appeal the PFC decision.”

Dave Dorn spoke out defending Sullivan.

“For Chief Sullivan, I’ve worked with him for many years that he’s been a police officer here, with the fire department. I had no gripes or complaints with him. I knew some people didn’t get along. That’s the way it always is I guess,” said Dorn of Hortonville.

Chief Sullivan was not at Thursday’s meeting.

He’s been on paid administrative leave since October but is expected to return to duty soon.

We welcome comments and civil discussions.

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