September 25th, 2013
“Integrity leaves the Ellsworth PD with retirement of Chief Greg Place”
Written by Rick A. Talford
Concerned Father & Irritated Citizen
ELLSWORTH, WI- Just a couple days before the retirement of Chief Greg Place, my son had a verbal argument with another individual that was on probation. Isaac Bensk was a friend of my sons in the past, and even had my son live with him for a short time. There became some conflict within the arrangement and my son was asked to move out. He left right away, but needed to return for his belongings. Before he could do so, Isaac decided to take all of his belongings (clothing, music cd’s, bible, etc.) and threw them into a pile, and lit them on fire. This destroyed all of my son’s belongings that he had. He requested the police do something about this, with them denying him any assistance. This is completely against any citizens rights, to deny a report and /or action when someone destroys their property. With my son and this other kid being on probation for other troubles they have had in life, I advised my son to stay clear and away from this kid all together, so they would not label him as the trouble maker.
June 8, 2013 my son went to the Super America gas station in Ellsworth with a few friends to get misc. items. When they were at the station, my son and Isaac seen one another. My son asked him if he was going to replace or pay for his possessions that he destroyed. From what was stated by the witnesses, Isaac then became mouthy and with a cocky smirk made a remark to my son. The two of them ran their mouths at each other back and forth for a bit and then began to go their own ways, when the truck that Isaac was in, stopped and he came out of the vehicle, yelling at my son, “You want a piece of me bitch, here I am.” This was an attempt to get a physical altercation started. He then got back into the truck with two other people and they left the station.
My son and his friends returned to their home and a little later, the Ellsworth Police showed up at their home to speak to my son about what happened at the station. Isaac had gone to the County Sheriff Dept. and filed a complaint that my son had pulled a six inch knife and used it to threaten him. The Sheriff Dept. then dispatched the Village of Ellsworth PD on a “Threat Complaint.” He gave a description of a fabricated weapon.
The officers (Foss and Austin) spoke to the witnesses (two were with each person involved) that were at the scene, and every single one of them stated they never seen any weapon, that they only had a verbal argument and both had used colorful language with each other. These statements were not gotten in writing by the officer’s, they only took them verbally, so the accuracy of their statements could be at question as well. Within minutes, they began to arrest him. He became upset and threw his wallet out toward the van, and the two officers could not even report that the same in their reports. One claiming that he threw it at the side of the trailer home he was at, when they questioned him. After arresting him and taking him to the County jail, then they decided to start investigating the claim of a knife being pulled and used to threaten Isaac. The officers returned to where they made the arrest, and questioned the individuals he was with about a knife being involved, and again they were told there was never any knife involved. The officers then requested to search the vehicle that they drove to the station in and were given permission by someone that was not the owner of the van. In their report though, they claim they asked the owner and were given permission. This was a false statement, as the female at the residence was the only person listed on the legal registration as the male occupants were not even licensed. So in the fact of searching a vehicle with the owner’s permission, that was an illegal search. They also made statements in their reports that the council under the passenger seat was already open upon their search, yet in the same report it stated that the male passenger opened the council right in front of the officers as they wanted to search it for a weapon. Again, this is a fact that the two officers did not agree upon in their reports. There was never any knife found on the possession of my son, nor did they find any weapon in the van that was driven to the station. The owner of the van told the officers that there was never a knife in the van either, but this statement apparently was not going to be listened to, even though everyone involved in this case denied a weapon being used/seen whatsoever, except by Isaac in his false claim. Filing a false report with police is a violation of the law. It is considered to be “Obstruction of Justice.”
My son called me from jail and advised me what had happened, and asked for my help. I then started making calls to see what information I could get in regards to the case. I started with calling the individuals that he was with and the owner of the vehicle used to go to the station. Another thing the cops did, was give my son a citation for driving without a license, even though there was never a complaint made about him driving, not did any officer see him behind the wheel of the van used. They came to this conclusion because they knew all three individuals in the van that went to the station, did not have a valid license among them. Another issue that came up in this case was. Officers giving citations for vehicle violations when they never witnessed the event. “UNETHICAL”
I then made contact with my son’s probation officer and asked just how long my son was going to sit in jail over a fabricated claim, when there were plenty of witnesses that it was a false claim. I was told that there was no time limit that he could remain in jail. He claimed that he could do nothing until he received the completed police report from the primary officer. The easy fact to see in this was that he could care less that my son was in jail over a false report of a weapon being used to threaten another person.
I then attempted to speak with the officer that was the primary officer on the case. I was treated with nothing less than disrespect, even being told I had no business being involved with the case. I then made contact with a few attorneys to get advice on how to assist my son. I was given advice and I wrote each step down to ensure I did each thing correctly. The following are a couple of the things I did. After getting disrespected by the officer on the phone, I wrote a letter requesting what I had been advised to do. Officer Foss then took it upon himself to ignore the written request and go directly to my son and intimidate him and tell him they would do nothing as to the request. He opened a letter that was addressed to another officer, then, he went against what was written. If this letter would have gone through the mail, it would have been a federal offense for opening it. I then filed a “Formal” complaint through the proper procedures of the Village with the Public Safety Commissioner, as well, I sent a letter to the District Attorney and the Village Mayor. This outlined the issues of the case, and the unethical conduct of the officers in the case.
Below is the letter sent to the Ellsworth Mayor:
Ellsworth Mayor Jerry DeWolfe 130 N Chestnut Street Ellsworth, WI 54740
RE: Ellsworth Police Dept. Integrity
I am making this contact with you in regards to an issue with the Village Police Dept. since the retirement of Chief Greg Place. I have been advised that three officers have taken over responsibilities until a new chief is hired. One of these officers is Darrin Foss.
There was a case on June 8, 2013 at 11:30 PM at the Super America on Main Street, where two individuals on probation had a verbal argument about property that was destroyed by one, owned by the other. The person that destroyed all the possessions of the other one by burning everything he had (clothing, shoes, CD’s, Bible, etc.) The two lived together and one was asked to move out. Before the person could return to get his belongings, all was burned. There was never any physical contact during this argument at SA. Each party had two (2) witnesses along with them. Once the verbal argument ended, they all went their separate ways.
The person who did the burning of the property, then went to the Pierce County Sheriff Dept. and filed a false police report, that the other party pulled/whipped out a 6” knife and threatened him with it. The PCSD then dispatched the Ellsworth PD to speak with the complainant on a “Threat Complaint”.
Upon speaking to the suspect, they decided to arrest him for Disorderly Conduct. After taking him to jail, they returned to speak with the two witnesses where he was staying. (place of arrest) They searched the vehicle they drove to SA in an attempt to locate the knife used in the threat. They did not find any weapon on the suspect or in the vehicle. They asked for permission to search the vehicle from a person that was not the owner, yet reported that this person was the owner. The officers were verbally told by five (5) people (witnesses and suspect) that “No Weapon” was ever possessed or brandished at the complaint at any time. This claim was false, and the complainants own witnesses verified this fact. The officers also wrote a report and they reported situations differently. They also decided to give the suspect a citation for driving without a license, even though they never witnessed this person behind the wheel of any vehicle, nor did any file a complaint about him driving. This is not ethical.
After receiving a false report, they went and arrested a person and he spent six (6) days in jail. Upon getting out, he asked for my help in this case. We made contact with attorneys and were advised how to proceed forward. The false report by the complainant was done intentionally, and is a violation of the law. (Obstruction of justice)
I was advised to make contact with the primary officer in the case and request an answer on whether the officer felt the complainant had filed a false report, being no weapon was ever used or seen by all witnesses. The question was simply asking if the officer agreed or disagreed with that fact. I called the EPD and left a message for the officer (J. Austin) to call me back. We then got a copy of the police report filed by the two officers. The report was ten (10) pages in length, without any written statements by the seven (7) people they dealt with in this case. The report fee was twenty-five cents per page.
The officer then called me and refused to give me a direct answer on whether she agreed or disagreed with the report being false. Being this was not answered, I put everything into writing as a complaint/request to the EPD for charges of “Obstruction”. This had a direct and clear statement asking for a reply in writing by the officer, within seven (7) business days of receipt. This was hand delivered to the EPD on June 22, 2013, by my son (suspect). I provided out home address to be responded to in writing. The complaint was put into an envelope and it was addressed to Officer Austin with her badge number on the front.
That very same night, officer Foss showed up at the residence my son was at, (place of arrest) and confronted my son about the complaint. He told my son that they would not do anything with his complaint. My son felt intimidated by the officer and told him to just forget it and leave him alone then. This was the exact reason why I requested the response to be in writing, because my son felt intimidated by Foss. This is the very reason my son asked me for assistance with this matter. Officer Foss not only opened a letter that was not addressed to him, but then he ignored the very written words that requested a response in writing. This shows an abuse of position and power.
On July 2, 2013 I called the EPD to get confirmation of when the officer was scheduled to work, due to no response in writing had been received at our home address yet. Unknowing to me, I was speaking to the officer. I had not received anything yet, and was trying to find out when the officer worked to see whether she had received the written complaint, being she was a part-time employee at the EPD. She then informed me of who she was, and she then began to get disrespectful with me. She stated the suspect was spoken to and he said to drop it, and I had no business getting involved with this matter. She never made any attempt to respond to the complaint at any time. She then claimed there was no false report filed. I stayed polite and told her that I was not going to argue the case with her, but I simply wanted an answer to my question. She then claimed the suspect was arrested for using vulgar language, even though that was not the complaint filed. Both individuals used colorful language with each other, and that was verified by witness statements. She had stated she did not feel there was a false report, so I ended the call and told her that I would continue on as advised by the attorneys. She snapped at me, asking what I meant by that. I stayed polite and said I was not explaining it, but I was going to do as advised.
On July 3, 2013 I made a call to the Village Office and received information on the police committee, public safety chairperson and mayor names from the clerk. I called and spoke with a member of the PC and was told to continue what I was doing, it sounded like I was on the right track. As a parent, they would do the same to assist. I was then informed that the PC really does not deal with these issues, there would need to be an appeal by the officer of punishment before they would get involved. I was told to contact the Public Safety Chairperson and the Mayor.
On July 5, 2013 I received another call from the EPD. This time it was officer Foss. He had apparently spoken with officer Austin and decided he was going to continue the intimidation by contacting me verbally, instead of in writing as requested in writing. I explained our stance in the case and the fact the complaint was clear and direct, no contact in person was ever requested. He then told me we could meet with him to discuss things, but he did not feel a false report was filed. He then backed officer Austin in stating they arrested the suspect for DC, due to the vulgar language used by him, and not for the knife complaint. The “Threat Complaint” was filed for a knife being pulled/whipped out at the complainant, not anything about vulgar language was complained about. Nobody at the station filed a complaint or was even spoken to for a case against him for vulgar language. In the statements by the witnesses, both used vulgar language, yet they only arrested one for this.
The fact was remaining the same, they were not allowing my son to file a complaint against the party for knowingly filing a false police report, which led to his incarceration for six (6) days. They denied my sons “Rights”. Both officer have denied his right to filing this complaint.
I was advised how to proceed through this manner and that is what I had done to this point. I then was told if they denied/disagreed or refused to file this complaint, then we should go directly to the County District Attorney with it. I was even told to file a suit against the department for failure of duty and wrongful arrest, but that is not our intentions. We are filing a written/Formal complaint with the Public Safety Chairperson Neil Gulbranson as well as the Pierce County District Attorney in this matter. I wanted to let you know and be aware of this case as well.
I have had experience with your village attorney and some very poor small town politics in Elmwood already. I would ask that you not listen to any of the rhetoric he may provide, as this case is only involving the facts that these two officers responded to a “Threat Complaint” which was filed falsely and arrested a suspect wrongfully.
I have received written statements from the witnesses during these events and it verifies our claims as well as the police reports done by the officers themselves. I found discrepancies in their reports they filed. I would describe them clearly if needed.
I myself have been a victim of small town politics and Mr. Robert Loberg was very much involved in taking away my families rights in the village of Elmwood. I have always been a law abiding person, and a advocate of law enforcement. I have even taken courses in criminal justice so that I am not ignorant to the laws. I have made contacts with Dunn, St. Croix and other Pierce County Police Dept.’s and I asked them how they would deal with this type of situation and they all stated they would not proceed as this Dept. has. The attorneys advised me on what steps to take, and that is what I have done to this point.
I hope this issue will get resolved in some way. My sons rights are my only concern and interest in this matter. The facts in regards to the officers conduct is for you and your committee’s to go forward with. As I stated before, I have always been an advocate of the law and our constitutional rights as well. I have provided letters of Interest multiple times and been interviewed for the County Ethics Committee. This is how involved I try to be with our rights as citizens. If you require any further information from me, please do contact me with your requests.
Rick A. Talford
NOTE: July 18, 2013 a reply was sent to me from Neil Gulbranson (Public Safety Chairperson) This was rec’d by mail on July 20, 2013. This letter stated that Mr. Gulbranson forwarded the complaint to SGT. Ladwig, a co-worker of the officers listed in the complaint. This is a “Conflict of Interest” and a failure to follow the proper procedures listed in the Village Policies/ordinances. The Public Safety Committee should have dealt with this Officer Conduct Complaint. The fact that he gave it to another officer with the intent for that officer to deal with the DA in the complaint, will only lead the DA into not providing proper measures. This could mislead the DA in his decisions, that is another conflict of interest. I made contact with the Ellsworth Village Clerk and requested a copy of the procedure/policy/ordinance in regards to the proper procedure for a FORMAL Complaint that is filed with the Public Safety Chairperson. After discussing this with the Clerk, I do believe this was failed to be followed in this case.
NOTE: July 22, 2013 I called the village office clerk and requested a copy of the policy/ordinance that pertains to the procedure that is to be followed when a formal complaint is filed. I received an email back, stating that I would need to wait another day for the police dept. to provide a copy of such policy from their handbook.
NOTE: July 23, 2013 I received an email with an attachment that contained the policy procedure. I read it, and kept a copy. I replied to Peggy with a thank you note and a voicing of concern that it was still a conflict of interest in my mind having a co-worker dealing with the complaint, and also a issue having the officer dealing with the DA in regards to manipulating his decision to charge the Obstruction of Justice.
Below is a copy of the letter sent to the Pierce County District Attorney:
District Attorney Froelich
Pierce County Courthouse
Ellsworth, WI 54011
RE: Request for Charges of “Obstruction” on Isaac Benck (case 2013-01419)
I am writing to you, after being advised by multiple attorneys to follow this process. On June 8, 2013 there was a verbal argument between Kenneth Talford and Isaac Benck at the Ellsworth Super America on W. Main St. Isaac and Kenneth lived together for a short period of time, in which Isaac requested Kenneth move out. Kenneth left immediately, but needed to return to get his possessions. Before he returned to get them, Isaac took everything he had there (clothing, shoes, bible, misc. CD’s) threw them in a pile and burnt them all. Kenneth spoke with Police and was told they could do nothing about this. On June 8, the two ran into each other at the Super America. Upon Kenneth asking Isaac how, and if he was going to repay or replace his possession, a verbal argument began. There was no physical contact made between the two individuals, and they each had two witnesses with them. The verbal argument ended when Isaac left in a truck driven by another party.
Approximately a half-hour later, two Ellsworth Police Officers, Joselyn N. Austin/2206 and Darrin Foss/2204 arrived at the residence that Kenneth was staying. By reading their report, they stated they only wanted to talk to Kenneth about the situation at the station. Isaac had went to the Pierce County Sheriff Dept. and filed a “Threat Complaint” stating that during the argument at the station, Kenneth pulled a 5-6” shinny knife out to threaten him, and that is when Isaac retreated and left the station. This was knowingly a “FALSE” claim. After reading the police report is shows that they spoke to all the witnesses and there was no such weapon seen by anyone, and Kenneth denied this claim as well. This false claim of a weapon was intentionally done in the attempt to get Mr. Talford in trouble with the law, as both individuals are on probation. After these two officers spoke with Kenneth, they arrested him on this complaint. He was taken into the Pierce County jail on a probation hold, then transferred to Dunn County where he sat for six days in jail over a false police report. Kenneth was told he was being taken in for Disorderly Conduct because he and Isaac had used vulgar language with each other, yet Kenneth was the only one taken into custody. Both individuals had a verbal argument that witnesses spoke to the officers about, stating that Isaac was the one to stop his vehicle, get out of it, and verbally try to get a physical altercation started. This was verified by the police report. There were no written statements received by any of the individuals involved in this complaint, only verbal ones, which could be misreported. The officers also charged Kenneth with “Driving without a License”, even though they never seen Mr. Talford behind the wheel of any vehicle. The officers also returned to the residence that Kenneth was at, after they took him to jail to speak with the witnesses and search the vehicle he was in for a weapon. They did not ask the owner of the vehicle (Trisha Jamison Only on title/registration) to do this search, this was verified by myself (Rick Talford) through written statements by the witnesses. (Also documented in police report)
The two officers disregarded all the statements of these witnesses, as they all told the same thing to the officers that “NO WEAPON” was ever seen in the possession of Kenneth Talford. Their search came up empty as well. In their report you can see that one officer claims the knife was gotten out of a under-the-seat council that was open upon their search (Austin), yet in the same report the officer states that this council was opened up (By Jonathan) for them before the search. If the two reports are read carefully, the two officers also do not report the same thing as to where Kenneth threw his wallet after being told he was going to jail for this false report. One states he threw it out at the driveway and the car (Foss), and the other states he threw it at the side of the trailer house (Austin). They can’t both be correct. These inaccuracies bother me plenty, as well as the conduct that followed afterwards in regards to this case. Looking at the report, you can see they list the time of assignment, arrive time and the clear time are all identical. This is also impossible to be correct.
The first thing we (Kenneth and Rick Talford) did after being advised how to go forward with this case, was to get a copy of the police report. I read the report provided by the Ellsworth Police Dept. and I found inaccuracies between the two officers reports, as well as some verification that the officers were told by everyone except Isaac that a weapon was pulled/whipped out to threaten the complainant.
Upon making contact with multiple attorneys in Dunn & St. Croix County, I (Rick Talford) was advised to contact the primary officer on the case and ask them to agree or disagree with the fact that Isaac filed a false report on a threat with a weapon complaint. I was advised that if there are any issues with getting this verbally, to get an answer in writing from the police dept. I then called the Ellsworth Police Dept. and left message to get a return call by the part-time officer Austin. I then received a call back at 6:34 PM from Officer Austin. I told her I had a few questions that I was looking to get answers for. I asked her directly if she agreed or dis-agreed that Isaac “Filed” a false report that Kenneth had threatened him with a knife, and she replied “We cannot prove a knife was used, none were found”. I again asked her if she agreed or disagreed that it was a false claim as to the statements they received by all the witnesses, and she refused to give an answer. I asked her if they received written statements by anyone involved and I was told “NO”. I asked her if anyone validated the claim of the knife being pulled/whipped out as Isaac claimed, and she again replied “NO”. I stayed very polite on this call, and told the officer that I was advised to ask these questions and go forward from there. I did not want to argue any facts of the case, just ask a few simple questions.
On June 13, 2013 the EPD mailed out a citation to Kenneth for driving without a license. One fact in this, is that the officers never received any complaint about Kenneth driving, nor did they eyewitness Kenneth behind the wheel of any vehicle. I (Rick) called numerous police dept.’s in Pierce, St. Croix and Dunn Counties to see what their rules were in this situation. Every single Police Dept. I spoke to, stated they would not give a citation to anyone without seeing the person violating the law, or the person may have left a scene of an accident and was the driver. They did not feel this was proper procedure by the EPD, as anyone could call in to state someone was driving to get citations handed out, and that would be an ethical situation they would not get involved in.
Once I began looking into this case for my son, upon him asking for help. I found out that Chief Greg Place had retired from the EPD and three officers were splitting the duties until another Chief was put into place. I was informed by the EPD of this, and then told that Officer Foss was one of those individuals. I did not feel that any complaint about these actions could be dealt with properly by the Dept. if he was one of the controlling officers. This would create a “Conflict of Interest”.
As advised, I did put together a written complaint to the EPD about the false report filed by Isaac that was clearly “Obstruction” when he knowingly filed a report that he was threatened with the use of a weapon and that report led to the EPD contacting and arresting Kenneth Talford.
Below is a copy of that written complaint that was kept by me (Rick):
To: Officer Austin-2206 Ellsworth Police Dept. 130 N. Chestnut Ellsworth, WI 54011
RE: 2013-01419 6/8/13 at 11:55 PM “Threat Complaint” filed by Isaac Edward Benck
After a “False” Police Report was filed by Isaac, claiming that a KNIFE was pulled and used to threaten him by Ken Talford, Mr. Talford was arrested and jailed for six days. There were two eyewitnesses on behalf of both individuals involved in this verbal argument at a SA station in Ellsworth. After speaking to all the individuals, only Isaac claimed a knife was pulled/whipped out. Everyone else stated “NO WEAPON” was used to threaten or seen. That leaves one person/complainant saying a knife was present and five others stating there was no weapon seen/used. MR. Benck knowingly filed a false complaint with the EPD, as the Pierce County Dispatched the call to the EPD as a “Threat Complaint” After speaking to attorneys in regards to Mr. Talford being contacted after this false report was filed and it led to his incarceration for six days, we are requesting that Mr. Benck be charged with “Obstruction of Justice” for filing a false report knowingly, which is against the law. This led to the wrongful incarceration of Mr. Talford. If you do not agree or deny filing this complaint, we “REQUIRE” a written response within seven business days of receipt of this complaint/request. We will then take the next step as we have been advised to do by the attorneys. Sincerely, MR. Rick & Kenneth Talford N4120 210th street Elmwood, WI 54740 Signed and dated by both Rick and Kenneth Talford
NOTE: This was hand delivered to the EPD by Kenneth Talford on 6-22-2013 in an envelope that was addressed to Officer Austin 2206. I want to add that I might have changed a word or two here and there in the copy the EPD received, but that should be available upon request if needed by them. This should be very close and accurate to the copy they received.
That very same night, Officer Foss showed up at the residence Kenneth was at, and told Kenneth there was nothing that would be done in regards to Isaac’s claim. Kenneth felt intimidated by this contact, after it was intentionally written in the request to be responded to in writing. Kenneth told him to just leave it alone then, he did not want to deal with Officer Foss. There was no excuse that Officer Foss confronted Kenneth in the way he did, especially when the letter/complaint was addressed to another Officer. He not only opened a letter that was not for him, he intentionally ignored what was written and forced contact that was not wanted by Mr. Talford. This is the exact reason my son asked for my assistance with this, because he feels like he is not treated properly and is intimidated by the officers. Officer Foss not only made Kenneth feel intimidated by this contact, he denied Kenneth’s right to file this complaint against a “False Report” that was filed against him.
On July 2, 2013 I (Rick) had not received anything in writing back from the EPD, so I called (11:45 AM) the Dept. to see if Officer Austin had worked any shifts since June 22, 2013 to have received the written complaint/request. Unknowingly, I was speaking to her without my knowledge as I was explaining I was trying to get information on whether she had worked since the complaint was hand delivered. Once she informed me who she was, she became disrespectful and told me I had no business being involved with this at all. She denied any need to reply to the written request because Kenneth had been contacted and said to drop it. She did not make any contact with Kenneth or I in regards to this complaint that was filed directly to her. She then denied any false report was filed. I again stayed very polite and told her I was ending the call and going to go forward as I was advised by attorneys to do so. She immediately asked what I meant by that, and I thanked her for her time and ended the call. I felt this was not only an abuse of position and power by Officer Foss, but also it was unethical of him to deny Kenneth’s rights of filing a complaint against a person that knowingly filed a false report against him, claiming he pulled a knife on him to threaten him.
On July 3, 2013, I decided to make a few calls to the Police Committee for the Village of Ellsworth to talk to them in regards to the actions being taken by the Dept. and get any suggestion on what steps I should take. I did not feel that I could file a direct complaint to the Dept. because of this officer being partially in charge. The “Integrity” of the Dept. should be the biggest issue dealt with in this complaint. That would clearly be denied if any attempt was filed to the Officer the complaint regarded. I was referred to contact Greg Place or the Mayor Jerry Dewolfe.
On July 5, 2013 at 10:19 AM I received a call from Officer Foss from phone number 273-6459. He had apparently spoke to Officer Austin and was calling me to inform me that he spoke to Kenneth and there was nothing going to be done, as he requested it to be dropped. I explained to him that Kenneth felt intimidated by his contact, and that is exactly why I put everything in writing so there was no physical contact. There was one simple thing being asked and a written response was very clearly asked for. He became more defensive and began claiming that we could meet with him and talk about things, but the fact was clear he was not pursuing Obstruction against Isaac. He stated that Kenneth was arrested for DC for the use of vulgar language, not the knife. I again stayed polite but very clear with the officer and told him I was advised on how to proceed with this, and I was not going to argue any facts with him. I told him I would be ending the call and continuing on as I was advised. I felt his contacting me was in attempt to intimidate as well. The written complaint was very clear and he not only opened another officers mail, he acted incorrectly to it by making contact in-person to Kenneth, but then he tried to make more contact with me, after I spoke with Officer Austin. The denial of Kenneth’s rights was never changing, so that is why we have come to this point.
We are filing this complaint/request to the Pierce County District Attorney’s Office, as well as filing a formal complaint to the Ellsworth Public Safety Chairperson as I was advised to do so by the Village of Ellsworth, being the Police Committee does not really deal with this type of complaint procedure. There are written statements by the witnesses if they are needed. I did not provide them at this time, as I was not sure if they would be needed, or cared about.
If more information is needed by us, please contact us for it as soon as you can.
Kenneth A. Talford __________________________________ date: 7-13-13
Rick A. Talford _____________________________________ date: 7-13-13
Responses received after all was filed:
NOTE: On July 25, 2013.. The Pierce County District Attorney (Assistant) Rory E. O’Sullivan sent a letter to my son, at the residence he was arrested at (140 Evergreen Estate), not his home address, where we live. This was an intentional maneuver to keep my knowledge away from what their intentions were going to be with my son. Pierce County Caser Number 2013PI000517. O’Sullivan stated he was not going to press any criminal charges against either party, yet again this was all started by a false police report that again was never charged. He tells my son that there was sufficient evidence to charge them both, instead he was sending the complaint back to the Ellsworth PD to have them write out municipal disorderly conduct charges. The ADA claims that he feels that is the appropriate resolution to the case. He then signs the letter (Very Truly Yours), what kind of insanity is that?
NOTE: There was never a response to the formal complaint that was filed against the Officers, nor Benck. All was simply blown off. I have sent a request to the Ellsworth Mayor in regards to this.
Response to letter sent to my son’s friends home instead of his home address:
Hello Mr. Froelich;
I am sending you this email for one reason only. I am disgusted..
I sent you an email earlier about the facts of this case, which have intentionally been disregarded and our requests have been ignored completely as well.
Not only has the DA’s Office ignored my son’s rights, but the Ellsworth Police Dept. and the Safety Committee simply ignored proper procedure as well as a formal complaint against their officers.
Another letter dated July 25, 2013 was sent to my son’s friend’s home. I feel this was another intentional act by your office, as this was not my son’s home address. It was sent to where he was arrested at, and I feel it was done so, to get around the fact that my son asked for my assistance, and that was a clear way of sending the information to him, without my knowledge. He did however contact me, and provided me a copy of the letter sent to him, by your ADA.
Sir, with all due respect for the legal system, I am extremely disgusted with the way my son was dealt with, in regards to the entire case. He was the victim of a false police report being filed, which is clearly against the law. He then was harassed and intimidated by the law official that was not the primary officer, but an officer that was trying to go outside his rightful duties, to intimidate my son against a written request that was not even sent to him.
I am sending this to you, because I want you to know that I am by far, done with this case. Nothing may change from what has been done, but I will not sit aside and watch the legal system ignore my son’s rights. This is not only unethical for the legal system to treat citizens this way, but it should be illegal as well. I am continuing to make contact with our local reps, as well as WI State Offices that will take a complaint by me in regards to this action.
I also feel the letter sent by your ADA was poorly put together, as he has many inaccuracies in it. My son does not live in Evergreen Estate, Ellsworth, WV….he lives in Elmwood, WI 54740…….. I do not understand his titling of the letter either as he wrote ….Dear Mssrs…what is that?? and he closes his letter by writing, “Very Truly Yours”, is this suppose to be a love letter? That is a very inappropriate closing in my mind, especially when he has just finished disregarding my son’s rights in a case that we requested assistance from the DA’s Office in regards to the non-filing of his rights when he had a false police report filed against him , and it was done with intent and knowledge of it being false…there were many witnesses to that fact, and they were all ignored..
as I stated before, I am simply voicing my opinion and my frustrations with your Office in regards to this case..
Sincerely and Respectfully,
Rick A. Talford
My E-letter to the Ellsworth Mayor, being they never replied to formal complaint:
I filed a formal complaint with my son against some actions by the Ellsworth PD. Now I have not had any conclusion received by your Safety Committee as to our filed complaint. The fact that the complaint was handed over to a co-worker of the officers the complaint was filed against was a direct conflict of interest, but a very poor decision by your chairperson in control of the complaint.
I made this clear a number of times as soon as I was informed of how the case was being dealt with. That was clearly ignored by everyone involved. My son’s rights were not only denied, ignored and uncared about. They were simply blown off by your Chairperson as legitimate. I have respect for the legal system when things are done properly, but this filing of a formal complaint was not done in a proper manner in any means of the word. I have continued to stay in touch with my son in regards to this case, and the ADA even tried to go around me, with sending letters to my son at his friend’s home, instead of to our home address.
The facts are clear that the officers ignored our written requests, denied my son’s rights to filing a complaint against a false police report being filed, and attempted to intimidate my son at his friend’s residence. Part of our formal complaint was against the denial of a report being filed verbally by the officers, then when placed into writing, continued to deny this right of any citizen in this country. Then the officer opened a letter not addressed to him, and he intentionally ignored that letter, and tried to intimidate my son in person at his friend’s residence. The actions of these officers in their reporting and responding to us, was another part of the complaint, in which has been 100% ignored by everyone involved. This is not only disrespectful, but it is against our rights with filing the formal complaint. The complaint has never been processed correctly. It is a fact, that a co-worker that is also a partner in control of the dept. is not going to do an investigation properly from within the Dept. on this style of a officer conduct complaint.
My intentions are as follows, If the Ellsworth PD is not going to take our formal complaint seriously, and process it with the up-most respect that it deserves, then I will take our complaint to the State of WI to any and every Dept. I can. I will take this issue to the newspapers for the citizen’s to review also. I feel that we have been disrespected in every manner of the word. I know that my son is not an angel in any manner of that word, but we did everything we were advised to do by an attorney, so that it would be dealt with properly, yet we have not been treated with any respect from the get go.
I understand that you may be busy with many important issues with the Village of Ellsworth, and I am aware that you do not have direct control of this issue, but I do request that you ensure us that this case has been dealt with the way it is supposed to be by the people under your control. The Chairperson that received this formal complaint was well aware of my concerns with the conflict of interest that was created as soon as he handed our formal complaint over to a co-worker of the officers. That was ignored, and the process that this has taken, shows me that my concerns were simply ignored from the start, as having NO MERIT.. Common sense leads my actions, and I have not even received anything from the Chairperson on the results of this formal complaint.
There was clearly a complaint filed against the conduct of the officers with both my son and I that has been completely ignored and not responded to. This tells me that the integrity of the EPD is not of any concern to those in control of it. My feelings are the integrity left with the Chief that retired. The officers that have been left in control are doing as they please without any consequences.
Sincerely & Respectfully,
Rick A. Talford
NOTE: These two letters were sent by Email this past week, and I have not heard back from either at this time.
I do feel the “Integrity” of the Ellsworth Police Dept. is gone, and the assistance to remain this way is coming from the Village Board and the Mayor’s Office.
NOTE: Today September 20, 2013, I see another article about Mr. Benck online in the Pierce County Herald.
Benck denied hunting license for 20 years
An 18-year-old rural Ellsworth man, once accused of illegal shining and shooting of up to a dozen deer, was convicted Tuesday in Pierce County Circuit Court of two charges and lost his hunting privileges for 20 years.
Isaac E. Benck, N3842 750th St., pleaded guilty to misdemeanor counts of resisting a conservation warden and endangering safety by use of a dangerous weapon. He was placed on probation for two years and lost Department of Natural Resources (DNR) hunting privileges for 20 years, but he will get a review of that condition in 10 years.
Benck also was fined $486. Multiple forfeiture citations of illegal hunting of turkeys and shooting protected birds were dismissed, as were five misdemeanor counts of illegal hunting or shining deer, as a party to the crimes.
According to court records: The DNR received numerous reports in October and November of deer being shot at night southeast of Ellsworth in the Rush River area. DNR officials said a group of individuals shot up to a dozen deer, four badgers and two turkeys. Several witnesses said Benck was involved with some of the shootings.
– See more at: http://www.piercecountyherald.com/content/benck-denied-hunting-license-20-years#sthash.rpvMtKXS.dpuf
NOTE- This is the same individual that has a 4th Degree Sexual Assault Case pending on him as well.