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New Colfax police chief resigns

By LeAnn R. Ralph

COLFAX — The Colfax Village Board has accepted the resignation of newly-hired police chief Charlie DeLorge.

The village board met in closed session March 26 to accept DeLorge’s resignation and to review the applications of the remaining semi-finalists for the position.

DeLorge was originally scheduled to begin his new position as police chief in Colfax on March 24.

The village board approved hiring DeLorge following a closed session March 11.

After the regular village board meeting the evening of March 24, the Colfax Village Board went into closed session to discuss the police chief candidate’s background check under Wisconsin state statute 19.85 (1)(f) to consider “financial, medical, social or personal histories or disciplinary data of specific persons, preliminary consideration of specific personnel problems or the investigation of charges against specific person except where paragraph (b) applies which, if discussed in public, would be likely to have a substantial adverse effect upon the reputation of any person referred to in such histories or data, or involved in such problems or investigations.”

The village board reconvened into open session after about a half hour Monday night.

Scott Gunnufson, village president, announced that the village board had “no comment” about the closed session and subsequently entertained a motion to adjourn.

The village board reconvened to open session at the special meeting two nights later on March 26 after being in closed session for about 45 minutes.

The village board has moved to select a new candidate for the police chief position, contingent on a satisfactory background report, Gunnufson said.

The village board approved the motion on a vote of six “yes” and one abstention.

Village trustee Susan Olson abstained from voting on the motion.

Jackie Ponto, village administrator-clerk-treasurer, said Dunn County would be conducting the background check but that she did not know how long it would take to receive the report.

At this point, it also is not yet known if the candidate will accept the position, she noted.

If the candidate accepts the position, the village board is prepared to offer $45,000 a year in salary, Ponto said.

A salary of $45,000 works out to be $21.64 per hour. The village board agreed at the December meeting that the salary for the new police chief should range from $20 to $25 per hour, depending upon experience and qualifications.

Ponto said that state statute allows up to one year for the new police chief to move within 15 miles of his or her jurisdiction in Colfax.

Colfax Police Chief Pete Gehring will be retiring at the end of April with 43 years of experience in law enforcement.