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UPDATE: Wisconsin police chief charged in tea party flap

UPDATED Thursday, July 17, 2014 --- 4:50 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A prosecutor has charged a western Wisconsin police chief with a misdemeanor for allegedly signing a tea party leader up for solicitations from gay dating, pornography and federal health care websites.

Monroe County District Attorney Kevin Croninger charged Town of Campbell Police Chief Tim Kelemen on Thursday with one count of unlawful use of a computerized communication system. The chief would face up to $1,000 in fines and 90 days in jail if he's convicted.

According to a criminal complaint, Kelemen told investigators he signed La Crosse Tea Party leader Greg Luce up for websites because he felt Luce his supporters to harass his officers.

Kelemen's attorney says he's brokered a deal with Croninger that calls for Kelemen to continue counseling and perform 40 hours of community service.

Copyright Associated Press 2014

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UPDATED Thursday, July 17, 2014 --- 10:35 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A prosecutor says he plans to charge a western Wisconsin police chief with a misdemeanor for allegedly registering a tea party leader on gay dating, pornography and federal health care websites.

Monroe County District Attorney Kevin Croninger told The Associated Press that he plans to charge Town of Campbell Police Chief Tim Kelemen with misdemeanor unlawful use of a computerized communication system Thursday afternoon.

Kelemen is due to appear in court Thursday afternoon. Croninger says he's been discussing a plea deal with Kelemen's attorney, Jim Birnbaum, and Kelemen may take the deal during his court appearance. Birnbaum didn't immediately return a message.

Kelemen told investigators he signed La Crosse Tea Party leader Greg Luce up for websites because he felt Luce urged his supporters to harass Campbell officers.

Copyright Associated Press 2014

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UPDATED Sunday, June 22, 2014 --- 1:10 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A western Wisconsin police chief could face charges in an increasingly bitter dispute with the local tea party.

Town of Campbell Police Chief Tim Kelemen and La Crosse Tea Party activist Greg Luce have been butting heads since last fall when the tea party held protests on a pedestrian overpass spanning Interstate 90.

The town board adopted an ordinance banning overpass signs after Kelemen told the board they distract drivers.

Luce filed a lawsuit in January alleging the ordinance is unconstitutional. The suit also accuses Kelemen of stealing his identity and signing him up for pornographic and gay online-dating websites as well as the federal health care reform website.

The Monroe County district attorney is considering charges against Kelemen.

Copyright Associated Press 2014

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Friday June 13, 2014

TOWN OF CAMPBELL, Wis. (AP) -- A town police chief in western Wisconsin is accused of retaliating against a tea party activist by creating accounts in his name on pornographic and dating websites.

Town of Campbell board members placed Chief Tim Kelemen on paid leave during a special meeting Thursday. Kelemen's attorney, Jim Birnbaum, says the move is routine and in no way implies guilt.

Board chairman Scott Johnson says members are not considering any discipline against the chief before a prosecutor decides whether charges are warranted.

Activist Greg Luce and other tea party members are suing the town over an ordinance that prohibits them from demonstrating on the Interstate 90 pedestrian overpass. Chief Kelemen says it's a safety issue.

The La Crosse Tribune says Luce is also seeking damages against the chief alleging he violated his right to petition without retaliation or invasion of privacy.

Copyright Associated Press 2014


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