Suspect In Suitcase Deaths Had Unethical Side Job

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Police records show the suspect in the deaths of two women whose bodies were found in suitcases dumped on a rural Wisconsin road had abused his authority as a police officer by selling cellphone service while on duty.

Steven Zelich came under suspicion in 2001 after a struggle with a prostitute. An internal investigation by the West Allis Police Department determined he was stalking women while on duty. It also found Zelich tried to sell many of those women phone service as part of a side business he had with another officer.

Greg Peterson is president of the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Accreditation Group, which sets standards for police agencies. He says the Zelich case is unusual but shows what can happen if departments don't have clear policies on side jobs.


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