MADISON, Wis. — An Edgerton police lieutenant who punched a hole in a wall during a family disagreement and was arrested for domestic battery lost five days’ pay but wasn’t prosecuted.
Public records provide new details about the case involving the department’s second-highest-ranking officer, Lt. Randy Meehan, the Wisconsin State Journal reported Sunday (http://bit.ly/2bMB8uh ). Family members told investigators that Meehan had a history of threatening behavior while drinking, the records show.
Meehan was arrested for an alleged domestic battery involving his wife in March and lost five days’ pay for breaking department conduct and ethics rules. According to the records, investigators said Meehan grabbed his wife by the arm and threw her into a couch, causing her pain and leaving marks that were photographed as evidence.
But the Dane County District Attorney’s Office, which was asked to review the case, declined to prosecute it back in April, and Edgerton Police Chief Tom Klubertanz reinstated Meehan the same day.
A misdemeanor charge of domestic battery recommended by three Dane County detectives —who investigated the incident at the request of the Rock County Sheriff’s Department — was dismissed when the case was dropped, the records show.
Family members told investigators that Meehan punched a hole through his kitchen wall in January. According to the records, it happened as the three of them cowered in a corner that a drunken Meehan had backed them into, while he repeatedly slammed his fist into his palm and repeated, “I’ve got the muscle.”
In an interview with investigators, Meehan denied most of the allegations and told the detectives that he and his wife had been having problems for many years. He said getting him into trouble with his job had been a frequent threat of hers.
Asked about the alleged battery, he told investigators he only touched his wife’s arm to lead her upstairs so they could talk to their children about their failing marriage, and that she had then pulled away violently and tripped over the couch.
Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne did not return the newspaper’s phone call asking why the domestic battery case was dismissed. The newspaper said Ozanne often declines to discuss cases he decides not to prosecute.
Klubertanz declined to comment, but told the Janesville Gazette in May he was glad the investigation of Meehan was over and was “glad to have him back.” Meehan did not respond to the State Journal’s request for comment.
Information from: Wisconsin State Journal, http://www.madison.com/wsj