Town of Madison hires former DeForest police chief who resigned after racist video surfaced

MADISON, Wis. - The former DeForest police chief who resigned after a racist YouTube video surfaced has been hired by the Town of Madison Police Department.

Town of Madison Police Chief Scott Gregory said Daniel Furseth started as a part-time police officer Monday.

The Dane County Chiefs of Police Association said in August that it condemns “racism in any form” in response to the actions of Furseth.

Gregory is the president of the association said in August, “We condemn racism in any form, and will speak out against acts by our own that negatively impact our relationships with the community and undermine the efforts and progress we have made to improve trust between law enforcement and communities of color.”

Furseth signed an agreement in August with the DeForest Village Board saying he would resign. As part of the agreement, Furseth was supposed to receive a severance package worth about $120,000, which included a lump sum payment of $70,900 and contributions to his health plan and retirement account. He had been on administrative leave since May.

The YouTube video appears to be Furseth making racist comments about a group of black men. The video is at least 10 years old and was posted online in 2015 by someone who was disgruntled with the police Deforest Police Department.

The Village of DeForest opened a departmentwide investigation in July into Furseth. A formal complaint issued in August listed four new counts of misconduct against Furseth.

Madison Mayor Paul Soglin issued a statement Friday regarding the Town of Madison hiring Furseth.

"Friends and neighbors, we are very disappointed that Town of Madison officials hired additional personnel, particularly the addition of Daniel Furseth to their police department," Soglin said. "I am understanding about the inadequate service levels in all areas for the Town of Madison. However as annexation looms, new hires make an already complicated transition more difficult. The wiser course for the Town of Madison is to contract with either the City of Madison or the City of Fitchburg for necessary services over the next three years. One has to wonder if this decision is representative of the 6,800 residents who live in the town."

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