Janesville25.5°

Linn town chairman resigns

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Kayla Bunge
April 22, 2010
— Dave Bollweg is hanging his hat after serving more than 15 years as the Linn town chairman.

He submitted his resignation letter to the town board Monday night, and his resignation is effective May 1.


“I have devoted my heart and soul to the town since I was first appointed back in 1990,” he wrote. “I truly enjoyed the day-to-day interactions I had with so many people. This I will miss most.”


Bollweg, 77, said he suffers from acid reflux and shingles. He said he’s stressed and tired from “turmoil” in the town over the sale of a lawnmower taken as evidence in a theft investigation and the demotion of the police lieutenant who took issue with it.


“There’s a small group after me,” he said.


Bollweg said the group of residents, who also are targeting Police Chief Dennis Wisniewski and Town Attorney David Schiltz, are supporters of former police Lt. Terrance O’Brien. He said they have threatened him with a recall election because of his actions with regard to the lawnmower incident.


“I figured maybe if I get out of here, it’ll stop some of the turmoil,” he said. “I thought if this will help solve the problem, that’s what I’ll do.”


The town police department and the police chief have come under fire in the last year because of the lawnmower incident.


Wisniewski sold a lawnmower taken as evidence in a theft investigation more than two years ago. The lawnmower was sold to a relative of the detective who investigated the case.


O’Brien filed a complaint about the incident. Walworth County District Attorney Phil Koss decided not to pursue criminal charges against the chief, but the town board suspended the chief for three days without pay.


Wisniewski in July filed charges against O’Brien of disrespecting his superior and harming department credibility and morale. Wisniewski asked the town police committee to consider firing O’Brien. The committee in October suspended O’Brien without pay through the end of 2009 and demoted him to patrolman with a lower salary.


O’Brien soon after filed an appeal in Walworth County Court requesting a reversal of the police committee decision.


The town and O’Brien in March reached a $75,000 settlement. O’Brien no longer is employed by the town.


Bollweg, a retired Walworth County sheriff’s detective, was appointed to the town board in 1990. He was elected as a write-in candidate in 1991 and served until 1993. He ran for office in 1997 and was re-elected six times.


The town board now will have to appoint someone to replace Bollweg, whose term expires next year.


Bollweg said he is looking forward to traveling and visiting with his children and grandchildren.


“I’m going to do something for myself for a change,” he said.



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