An internal investigation by the Rock County Sheriff’s Office found no wrongdoing on the part of deputies who socialized with a now ex-deputy accused in two domestic violence cases.
Keegan J. Kelly, 26, resigned from the sheriff’s office April 12 after being charged with felony domestic abuse offenses alleged to have occurred Feb. 14 in a hotel room at the Kalahari Resort in Lake Delton.
Kelly also was charged last month in Rock County—in a Jan. 1 incident in Janesville involving the same woman—with misdemeanor battery, disorderly conduct and criminal damage, all as acts of domestic abuse, according to court records.
The internal investigation report notes the woman’s statement, written as part of her request for a temporary restraining order against Kelly, implied Kelly’s co-workers knew that Kelly had been abusive to her.
Sheriff’s office captains interviewed three deputies to find out if they knew about any wrongdoing committed by Kelly. Failing to report crimes or policy violations by another deputy is a conduct-policy violation.
The deputies knew Kelly had been seeing the woman, and one of them knew Kelly to be “annoying, argumentative and stubborn” when he drank, but they said they had no knowledge he was abusive to her, according to the investigative report.
The questions focused on an incident at a Janesville bar last fall when Kelly and three other off-duty deputies drank and watched a football game.
Deputies described Kelly as taking a “fake punch” at another deputy late in the evening but accidentally hitting him, causing a red mark near his eye.
None of the deputies reported the incident because, they said, they didn’t think Kelly intended to hit the other man.
The deputy who was hit said it was the result of “horseplay” and “screwing around,” according to the report.
When confronted with sheriff’s office policy and the fact that Kelly injured someone in view of the public, one deputy acknowledged he violated policy by not reporting this to his immediate supervisor, the report states.
The internal investigation concludes that no one at the sheriff’s office knew of any criminal behavior by Kelly.
Chief Deputy Barbara Tillman said no disciplinary measures were taken, but she said the deputies were counseled and warned that they must act professionally both on and off duty, be careful about whom they associate with, and if a fellow employee acts unprofessionally, they must report it to their supervisors.
The sheriff’s office found out about the allegations against Kelly on March 28 when a correctional officer reported to his supervisor about a video of the Lake Delton incident the woman showed him, the report indicates.
The woman contacted Lake Delton police April 2, according to Lake Delton police reports, also released Thursday. She said she delayed reporting the incident at the Kalahari Resort because she was afraid Kelly would kill or injure her if he lost his job.
She also feared for her children, whom Kelly had threatened to kill, she told police.
She told police that her father pressured her to report the incident after he found out about it.
The reports include transcripts from a video the woman recorded during the hotel-room incident, which feature Kelly using abusive language and threatening to kill her during what she said was a Valentine’s Day trip.
The woman told police the incident lasted two or three hours, starting after midnight Feb. 14.
Kelly has pleaded not guilty in the Janesville case, in which he is accused of grabbing the woman by the arm and throat, threatening to kill her and damaging a wall in her house, according to the criminal complaint.
In the Sauk County case, a plea and sentencing hearing is set for July 23.