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Police chief accused of retaliating against well-known activist

By Brittany Schmidt, bschmidt@wkbt.com
Published On: Jun 10 2014 08:24:55 AM CDT
Updated On: Jun 10 2014 08:35:33 AM CDT

The Town of Campbell police chief is under investigation after retaliating against an incident involving a well-known activist.

TOWN OF CAMPBELL, Wis. -

The Town of Campbell police chief is under investigation after retaliating against an incident involving a well-known activist.

In February, Greg Luce and other residents filed a federal lawsuit challenging the town's ordinance stopping political displays on the highway overpasses.

“Relating to the First Amendment violation,” said Richard Thompson, president and chief counsel for Thomas More Law Center. "Mr. Luce objected to what the Town of Campbell is doing regarding the signage on the overpass that had 'Impeach Obama' on it."

The plaintiffs said it took away their freedom of speech, but the town said it's distracting to drivers and could cause an accident. Four people were cited for the display.

After suspicious activity and an in-depth police investigation, that lawsuit has grown and now includes counts of invasion of privacy and identity theft.

After Luce filed the lawsuit, he started receiving unwanted email messages.

According to investigative reports, Luce received emails from Match.com, healthcare.gov, and gay porn websites.

Luce thought his identity had been stolen and filed a complaint with the La Crosse Police Department.

“They began an investigation,” said Thompson.

During the investigation, Kelemen became a person of interest.

However, due to the close relationship between the two police departments, the La Crosse Police Department handed the case over to the Monroe County Sheriff's Department for further investigation.

“Somebody is using his information and signed him up for a whole bunch of solicitations and stuff like that which has him upset. Do you know anything about that?” said a Monroe County Sheriff’s Department investigator.

At first, Kelemen denied any involvement.

“Do I know anything about that? No, I don't know anything about that,” said Kelemen.

“I am going to be straightforward with you, that I know you know something about that,” said the investigator.

But with concrete evidence, he admits his involvement.

“We backtracked it to computers signing him up for this, not only at your police department, but at your house,” said the investigator.

"Hey buddy, you messing with me, I'm going to sign you up for a couple of newsletters, take that pal. I am not denying I did it, but I didn't know it was that big of a deal,” said Kelemen.

Kelemen also said the police department was being threatened by Luce.

“This guy was just harassing; my officers were getting death threats,” said Kelemen.

The case has been turned over to the Monroe County District Attorney's Office for further review

They will decide what kind of action, if any, should be taken in the case.

The Town of Campbell Board will hold a closed session meeting Tuesday night to discuss the matters regarding Kelemen. Action could be taken as early as Tuesday.

According to the Monroe County Sheriff's Department, someone from the La Crosse Tea Party purchased the taped interview of the Monroe County investigator talking to Kelemen and posted it to their website. If you would like to watch the entire interview, click here to view part 1 of the interview and part 2 of the interview.

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