Price County Sheriff recalled - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Price County Sheriff recalled

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by Cami Mountain

PRICE COUNTY (WAOW) --  The Price County Sheriff is being recalled after opponents say he mishandled a missing persons case.

Back in March, 70 year old Deanne Brien wandered away from her rural Park Falls home.  The woman, who suffered from Dementia, was found dead less than a day later.  The coroner determined she died of hypothermia.  The sheriff suspended the search after 8 hours so investigators could re-group.  But neighbors believe if they had kept looking the woman would have been found alive.

Those neighbors formed a group and successfully petitioned to have the sheriff recalled.  That means Price County voters will go to the polls for a special election to see if Sheriff Wally Krenzke will keep his job.

"How could you not continue to look for her? That's why I got involved."  That's what Kristyn Tickler wonders.  She lives just a few doors down from the home that Deanne Brien wandered away from.

After the woman's death, she and other neighbors banded together and formed the Concerned Citizen's Group with the intent to remove Sheriff Wally Krenze from office.  She says the sheriff didn't do enough to find Brien.

Tickler says, "There just weren't enough people notified and involved in the search."

But Sheriff Krenzke disagrees.  He says more searchers in these woods would have scared the woman who suffered from Dementia.  He says he did his job but says it's the people of Price County's right to recall him.

Sheriff Krenzkesays "I support their right to be able to recall me. However, I feel, there is a great deal of mis-information about what actually happened."

Mis-information that he says could be cleared up if people would read the investigative reports.  By law, they're available to the public at the Sheriff's Department.

But, Tickler says she's read parts of it and still isn't convinced.  She says, "She was out in the woods and they should have found her. I just don't understand how they didn't find her."

Even though the group got nearly 2,000 signatures on a petition to recall him, the Sheriff says he wants to keep his post.

He says, "I want to maintain the job of Sheriff of Price County. That is entirely up to the voters."

The election is set for July 28th. 

Online Reporter:  Cami Mountain

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