CASHTON, Wis. - A Wisconsin police chief is accused of misconduct in office and an officer is facing a charge related to a crash in Vernon County last month, according to a news release.
The Monroe County Sheriff's Office said in a release Friday that Village of Ontario Police Chief David Rynes and Officer Grover Wooten are facing tentative charges related to a squad car crash on Sept. 28 on Highway 33 near Johnson Street in the Village of Cashton.
According to the release, investigators said that at about 4:30 a.m., Wooten had driven off the road and struck a no parking sign.
Wooten contacted the sheriff's office to report the crash. Wooten told the deputy that he had assisted in working at Oktoberfest and was on his way back to the village. Wooten said he had swerved to miss a dog, which caused his Ontario police squad car to go off the road.
During the investigation, the deputy questioned Wooten, as it didn't appear that he had swerved, but rather just drove off the road. The deputy requested to review the officer's squad video, and during that time, Wooten admitted there was no dog and that he had fallen asleep.
Wooten told the deputy that he had gone back to the Ontario Police Department but knew he needed to report it so drove back. He also advised that he called Rynes before calling the sheriff's office and Rynes told him to say that he had swerved to miss a dog.
The Monroe County deputy spoke to Rynes, who also admitted to telling Wooten to lie and say that he swerved to miss the dog.
The sheriff's office has concluded its investigation and charges were forwarded to the Monroe County District Attorney's Office.
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