Phillips Police Chief to be Paid $150K to Retire Jan. 15.

By: WSAW Staff Email
By: WSAW Staff Email
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The city of Phillips has disclosed the terms of a settlement provided to Police Chief David Sonntag. It's been more than four months since a complaint was filed by the Phillips Mayor, Charles Peterson, calling for Sonntag's removal from office.

The eight page document shows including salary and benefits Sonntag will make $150,000 and will retire January 31, 2015 in good standing with the city.

In Peterson's complaint, the chief is accused of tampering with mail, pulling over a citizen in his personal vehicle, and falsifying information that lead to a suspect unlawfully being held in jail.

Agreement says Sonntag attempt to act as a police officer or employee of the city. Sonntag will be issued a retired officer's identification card and badge.

The statement from the city issued July 18 read,

“The City appreciates Chief Sonntag's willingness to work with the City to provide definite timelines for the future operations of the City and the Police Department,” said Mayor Peterson. “The Chief's retirement comes after 10 years of service to the City. We wish him well, and note that he is retiring in good standing with the City.”

As NewsChannel 7 first reported in March, it was not the first time Sonntag has had problems as Chief of Police. He was also investigated when he was the head of the Mazomanie Department.

While police chief at the Mazomanie Police Department in the 1990s, David Sonntag was accused of drinking alcohol before starting a shift, and selling confiscated guns from the department's evidence locker to a Milwaukee gun shop. The documents obtained by NC7 outline that Chief Sonntag has found himself under fire before.

The 38-page complaint from 1999 details a number of reasons the Village of Mazomanie did not believe Sonntag was fit to be chief of police anymore. It talks about Sonntag drinking at a local tavern until just a few hours before he was scheduled to being an on-call shift at the department. State law says officer cannot drink eight hours before they are expected on duty.

The complaint also says Sonntag sold about 40 guns, which had been confiscated by his department by criminals, to a Milwaukee-area gun shop. Some of those guns were supposed to be kept as evidence or sent to the State Crime Lab for analysis.

Another complaint says that after Sonntag was asked to do an inventory of items in the department's evidence locker, he instructed two officers to take about 1,000 pieces of evidence to the local dump, and burn it.

He was also accused of letting a convicted criminal go through the department's records and shred documents, without any sort of supervision - another violation of the law.

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