Town of Geneva police officer charged with misconduct

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Ted Sullivan
Friday, April 23, 2010
— A former town police sergeant will be in Walworth County Court on Monday on two felony charges of misconduct in public office accusing him of mishandling evidence and reports.

Robert B. Haase, 42, of 155 N. Cranberry St., Elkhorn, faces up to seven years in prison and a $20,000 fine if convicted.

Haase remains on paid administrative leave from the police department pending an investigation.

According to the criminal complaint:

Haase is accused of mishandling evidence in an April 2008 sexual assault case and other cases. He is suspected of breaking department policy.

Haase didn’t document or secure evidence taken in the sexual assault case, including photos and underwear. He also failed to give prosecutors or defense attorneys evidence such as recorded interviews.

Haase also collected pieces of evidence but listed them on an evidence sheet as being collected on a different date.

In the area around Haase’s desk, he had 86 pieces of evidence from various cases, including knives, drug paraphernalia, drugs and other items. The evidence was unsecured.

The department’s policy states that investigators should mark, package and store evidence in a secure room.

Police Chief Ed Gritzner in August also filed two complaints against Haase.

Gritzner accused Haase of frequently meeting with a town court clerk, including an unfounded complaint the two had sexual contact in a town squad car while he was on duty.

Gritzner’s attorney argued Haase violated department policy by having a relationship with the clerk and spending an “inordinate amount of time” texting and meeting during work hours.

Haase was demoted in November for engaging in conduct unbecoming an officer and mishandling evidence. He was suspended for 90 days and permitted to return as a patrolman with a lower salary.

Haase’s attorney has argued Haase did not compromise any cases or investigations by keeping evidence at his desk.

Haase has denied mishandling evidence.

He has been with the Town of Geneva Police Department since 2001.

Last updated: 1:22 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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