What’s next for the Town of Campbell’s police chief
Kelemen and Luce take battle to the courts
TOWN OF CAMPBELL, Wis. (WKBT) — After about a year of conflict, the Town of Campbell board came to an agreement Thursday night with its police chief.
Chief Tim Kelemen plead no contest this summer to a misdemeanor charge that accused him of harassing a local tea party activist by using his email to sign him up for multiple online dating, insurance and pornography websites.
At the Thursday night meeting, Kelemen announced his plan to retire from the police department due to medical reasons.
“Chief Kelemen will retire as chief of police for the Town of Campbell,” said Brent Smith, Town of Campbell lawyer. “His health insurance claim with the town has already been paid through Decc. 31, 2014; that will cease at that time.”
Town of Campbell board members accepted the deal, which put an end to the case. However, for the two parties involved, the battle is far from over.
Now the two people at the center of the case, Kelemen and tea party activist Greg Luce, are taking this fight to the courts.
“We are going to expose the lies about the emails and phone banks being down for weeks on end,” said Luce.
“When someone causes the kind of harm that the tea party has caused Tim Kelemen and his family, the law provides recourses for getting to redress for those grievances,” said Jim Birnbaum, attorney for Kelemen.
Birnbaum said Kelemen has chosen to retire based on his doctor’s recommendations. Birnbaum said the mental health condition Kelemen suffers from started last year and for that reason Kelemen has applied for a duty-related disability.
“First exhibited itself on Dec. 16, 2013, after the extreme harassment including death threats from the tea party leveled against Chief Kelemen’s officers and the Town of Campbell,” said Birnbaum.
Luce declined an interview Friday but a statement from his attorney, Thomas More Law Center, said, “Mr. Kelemen’s claims that Greg Luce cyber-terrorized him are without merit. His allegations are a transparent effort to shift the focus off his own wrongdoings. Greg Luce is the victim to Mr. Kelemen’s criminal behavior.”
Luce’s attorney also said, “The chief should own up to his actions instead of trying to make nonsensical excuses for what will probably be the basis for his future workman’s compensation claim.”
While the case is over in the Town of Campbell, the legal fight between Kelemen and Luce may just be getting started.
“We plan to see Mr. Luce in court in the future,” said Birnbaum.
Kelemen has applied for disability through the employee trust fund of Wisconsin, as well as workers compensation for his medical condition, but you can’t use both.
If Kelemen is granted disability through the state, Birnbaum said based upon the medical evidence he has, Kelemen’s condition will likely prevent him from another law enforcement position.
Greg Luce is currently suing the Town of Campbell on a federal level challenging the town’s ordinance stopping political displays on the highway overpass. Luce argued the ordinance took away their freedom of speech. The federal lawsuit against the town is pending.