Phillips police chief to retire; accusations dropped
PHILLIPS (WAOW) – The Phillips police chief accused of wrongdoing by the mayor will retire after an agreement was reached with the city, Phillips Mayor Charles Peterson told Newsline 9 Tuesday.
Police Chief David Sonntag has been on paid administrative leave while the city's Police Review Committee investigated the accusations. Sonntag has been chief since 2004.
In a 16-page complaint filed in late February, Peterson accused Sonntag of being dishonest in several ways, including falsifying an arrest document in a May 2012 drug investigation and in submitting a claim for expenses for a trip to Madison that he never took.
The mayor said the police chief's actions “eroded” his credibility and enhanced a “reputation for lacking integrity,” the complaint said.
Peterson said Tuesday the agreement was good for both parties. "Phillips gets to go their way and the chief gets to go his," he said.
Peterson says the two sides went in front of a mediator to work out the resolution, which was reached last week.
Sonntag's attorney, Thomas Holloran of Oconomowoc, tells Newsline 9 the chief “was very satisfied” with the agreement.
Holloran says Sonntag will remain on paid administrative leave until the end of the year, when he will receive his full retirement package and retire in good standing with the city.
The attorney says the administrative complaint has been withdrawn.
Peterson was elected mayor in 2012 and won re-election in April.
The Phillips Police Department includes the chief, assistant chief and three-full time officers.
Assistant Chief Mike Hauschild was named acting police chief will the investigation continued.
Peterson told Newsline 9 the Police Review Committee will work to fill the police chief position, and said Hauschild will be considered in that process.