Knox makes statement outside Town Hall

Town of East Troy Chairman Joe Klarkowski refused to recognize former township police officer Craig Knox at tonight’s monthly Town Board meeting. Klarkowski cited advice from the town’s attorney that Knox’s statement, which Attorney Jim Mills reviewed during the meeting, was not appropriate for the public comment section of the meeting.

Mills said the statement should be part of Knox’s May 20 exit interview and grievance review, which had just been rescheduled Monday after being canceled last week.

Knox, who left the Town of East Troy Police Department last month, read his prepared statement from the steps of the East Troy Town Hall before the board meeting had even ended to a crowd of about two-dozen resident and media.

Here is what Knox said:

“I am coming forward today to inform the citizens of the Town of East Troy and the new Town Board as to the ethical, moral and potentially illegal conduct of the Town of East Troy police officers and Police Chief Don P. Jensen. Time is short, so I will address the most important issues.

     “1.) Falsifying police reports. General Rules and Regulations (3.20). No officer shall knowingly falsify any official report or enter or cause to enter inaccurate, false of improper information on records of the department. Untruthfulness is a grave disqualification from service.

     “On May 2, 2020, an anonymous complaint reported a large bonfire with lots of people around it. At the time of the call for service there was no ordinance in place regulating the size of allowed fires; there was no violation of ordinance. At the time of the call for service there was no ‘just cause’ to make contact with the residence.

     “Officer Schad was dispatched on May 2 at 21:08 to the address of the ‘anonymous complaint.’ While en route, driving westbound on Miramar Road, Officer Schad stated he detected a firework near the ‘vicinity.’ Officer Schad arrived at the residence and witnessed a bonfire approximately 10 feet in diameter, again no violation of burn ordinance. Officer Schad made ‘unwarranted’ contact with the residents and a verbal confrontation ensued. Officer Schad stated ‘what was supposed to be a simple verbal warning for a “burning violation” resulted in an “ongoing argument.” The known residents were disputing Officer Schad’s right to be on private property without ‘just cause’ or violation of law and/or ordinance. Subsequently, Officer Schad chose to use force by decentralizing the male resident and charging him with disorderly conduct.

     “Officer Schad submitted his report on May 3, 2020. Lt. John Jagielski approved the report. I went to the chief after reading the report and advised that Officer Schad had no ‘just cause’ to be at the residence due to the fact that there was no burn violation based on the anonymous complaint.

     “An altered report was then generated by Officer Schad, which was then approved by Chief Jensen. Officer Schad eliminated from the report: ‘What was supposed to be a “verbal warning” for a burning violation.’ Officer Schad had no ‘just cause’ to be on the property. Officer Schad then altered the account of detection of a “firework in the vicinity” to witnessing a “large firework being launched from the general area of the complaint.” Which then would have given ‘just cause’ for Officer Schad to make contact with the residence. After all these changes were made, Chief Jensen then approved a second report for the same matter.

     “Subsequently/conveniently, after this misinterpretation of the altered and approved police report by Chief Jensen, a new burn ordinance was approved by the Town Board to include regulations as to the size of fires allowed within the township.

     “On Jan. 2, 2020, Officer Carpenter was dispatched to an accident on Highway 20 and L, which is not in the township’s jurisdiction. Officer Carpenter issued a citation for failure to properly maintain tires and rims.

     “Chief Jensen altered the police report and put the officer back in town jurisdiction, reporting the accident occurring at (Highway) L and Town Dump Road.

     “The action of falsifying police reports is a direct violation of the (township’s) General Rules and Regulations.

     “Finally, impartial attitude, General Rules and Regulations (3.14):

     “Over the last year I feel that I have been targeted by Chief Jensen. I have brought to the chief’s attention many of his actions that I believe will bring discredit to the department and disservice to the citizens of the Town of East Troy. I have 24 years of impeccable service. Over the last year, since I addressed the chief with my concerns, I have been brought up on multiple internal investigations with no biases as retaliation. While other officers have violated policy/procedure and have no disciplinary action taken against them. I refused to compromises my ethics or my character. I questioned the chief’s truthfulness and in doing so, I was targeted by Chief Jensen.

     “In closing, I will be forwarding all the supporting documentation for review to the Walworth County District Attorney and the Department of Justice. I have consulted my attorney and will, if advised, move forward with legal action.”

Pick up a copy of the May 14, 2021, edition of the East Troy Times/News for more on Monday night’s Town Board meeting.

 
 

4 Comments

  1. Ronald Wiltzius says:

    With the examples set by former, impeached twice, POTUS to lie and break any law he chooses, it’s no wonder that this behavior would trickle down to even the smallest government services. With those in power that should be watch dogs for us all sitting by and covering up and lying about these behaviors should not surprise us, but scare us all to action.

  2. Diane Morrison says:

    Oh please, Ron. Wake up & take those blinders off that you are wearing. This type of behavior by elected officials & those with this false sense of power has been going on since our Lord walked this earth. Hats off to Officer Knox for standing behind his principles & bringing this disparaging behavior to the public’s attention. Many before Officer Knox, & I am speaking in general, not just in regards to the situation in the Town of East Troy, have turned a blind eye to such despicable behavior. Perhaps out of fear, for themselves & their families. And, for heaven sake, how long is this continuous blame for everything negative in this country or this universe, are we going to continue to blame on former President Trump? I suppose he’s responsible for that bunion on your great toe also!

  3. Time to get off the “Blame Trump Wagon” for all that is wrong with this country. Each person should be accountable for their own actions or “misactions”.

  4. Debra Wisconsin says:

    I have been targeted by law enforcement since divorcing a police officer. Falsified reports, intentional negligence, knowledge of crimes happening to me and around me and doing nothing about it. It is vile what these people will do to harass, intimidate and target someone. The lies they must tell themselves to justify their despicable behavior is pitiful and shameful. I went to “National Night Out” to become part of my community, only to have an officer tell me that if I wanted to be part of something, I should go to the fairgrounds and volunteer. He then walked away. No one would speak to me at the event. I live very close to officers and former officers, their family and friends, who are constantly doing threatendng and harassing things to me and my property. They all gather together on the street, talk to each other, and ignore me. I have NEVER done anything to these people. They use their useful idiots to do dirty work as well. Very sad here in Walworth County and, previously, in Kenosha County.

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