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Delavan police officer resigns amidst obstruction charge

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Kevin Hoffman
November 9, 2011
— A city of Delavan police officer accused of misleading police during another department’s investigation has resigned.

Delavan Police Chief Tim O’Neill confirmed this week that Aaron Myers, 32, of Fort Atkinson, submitted his resignation Oct. 28 after the district attorney’s office filed charges of misdemeanor obstruction of an officer. In October, the department began collecting evidence for an internal investigation, but that process ended when Myers resigned.


The resignation letter was written by Myers’ attorney and didn’t specify the charges as the reason for his departure, O’Neill said.


“We take all these claims seriously, and we want to make sure that we’re both fair to the individual officers and to the public,” O’Neill said.


Myers is free on a $2,000 signature bond and was scheduled for a status hearing Monday in Walworth County Court.


In May, Whitewater police were led to Myers while investigating a battery complaint. A man reported he was head-butted by 30-year-old Michael Stanke outside Toppers Pizza, chipping three of his teeth, according to the criminal complaint.


A woman was able to get a license plate number off the car Stanke left in, which was registered to Myers.


When police went to Myers’ home to question him, he identified himself as a Delavan police officer. Myers admitted being at the restaurant but said he didn’t know anyone there and only went to pick up a pizza, according to the complaint.


It was only after Whitewater police told Myers they saw the surveillance video that he admitted another person was at the restaurant. He also denied switching shirts with Stanke, which Stanke later told police they did to keep the victim from coming after him.


According to the complaint, Myers then told police, “I’ll be honest with you. I don’t want to (be) jammed up. Yeah, I bent the truth a little bit with you, I’m sorry.


“I apologize cop-to-cop. I don’t want an obstruction ticket.”


Myers’ misdemeanor charge of obstructing an officer carries a maximum penalty of nine months in jail and a $10,000 fine.


Stanke is charged with substantial battery, a felony. He is expected to waive his preliminary hearing Thursday where a judge will decide whether there is enough evidence to proceed to trial.


Stanke faces a maximum penalty of three years and six months in prison and a $10,000 fine.


Jefferson County District Attorney Susan Happ is prosecuting Stanke and Myers. Special prosecutors are common when the accused is a public official or someone who works in a capacity that could create a conflict with the county’s district attorney.



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