Former police chief in deferred prosecution program

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Saturday, January 21, 2012
— Criminal charges against George Brunner, former Janesville police chief and city council president, could be dropped in March.

Milton attorney Scott McCarthy appeared in Rock County Court on Friday representing Brunner, who did not attend the proceeding.

McCarthy informed Judge Kenneth W. Forbeck that Brunner is enrolled in the Dane County Deferred Prosecution Program.

Brunner, 71, has not entered a plea to charges of disorderly conduct and resisting an officer. McCarthy said after Friday's court appearance that there's an expectation charges against Brunner would be dropped if he successfully completes the deferred prosecution program. Those charges could be dropped at Brunner's court appearance Wednesday, Mar. 7, McCarthy said.

The Rock County Deferred Prosecution program allows those facing a crime or charged with a crime to be diverted from the criminal court system. Defendants must have no prior criminal record and accept responsibility for their offense, according to the Rock County District Attorney's Office website.

"We allowed Mr. Brunner to enroll in the Dane County program, which is similar to ours, to avoid any appearance of favoritism," Rock County District Attorney David O'Leary said. "He is being treated no different from any other individual who has no prior record and is willing to take responsibility for the offense."

Brunner, 2423 Stonefield Lane, Janesville, was arrested by Janesville police Nov. 4 after an altercation at his home. He is accused of shoving and striking a police officer during a meeting to determine custody of a 1-month-old baby. He is also accused of struggling with officers when they were placing handcuffs on him and putting him into a police car.

Brunner was serving as the Janesville City Council president at the time of his arrest. He resigned from the council Nov. 9.

Last updated: 7:16 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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