Dane County deputy under investigation

Release says deputy had intimate relationship with inmate

A Dane County deputy is under investigation for having a relationship with an inmate according to a release from the Dane County Sheriff’s Office sent Friday.

Deputy Jeffrey Hilgers was placed on administrative leave May 30, after supervisors were informed of a potential relationship between Hilgers and inmate in the electronic monitoring program last month, the release stated.

According to the release, Hilgers met the 42-year-old inmate while she was incarcerated in the Dane County Jail in 2012 where they exchanged personal information.

An investigation revealed the inmate, who wears an bracelet monitoring device and is normally restricted to her home, approached Hilgers in April of 2013. She had been out with permission to go to the grocery store where they met and began a relationship, according to the release. 

Authorities were notified about the relationship after the woman told a counselor and her probation agent, according to Sheriff Dave Mahoney.

A search warrant was executed at Hilgers’ home. Electronic equipment related to the investigation was seized.

In a statement, Mahoney said, “it is absolutely unacceptable for a deputy to take advantage of the power and control relationship and develop an intimate relationship with an inmate.”

Reports related to the investigation were turned over to the Dane County District Attorney’s Office for review of potential charges.

Hilgers has been with the Sheriff’s Office for 15 years. According to his attorney, he had not seen a search warrant filed and could not immediately comment.