4/16/2019 7:28:00 AM Disciplinary action taken against Woodruff police officer
Kayla Houp Lakeland Times reporter
The Woodruff town board last week approved recommended disciplinary action for a Woodruff police officer in connection with an off-duty motor vehicle accident in late March.
The town board took the action following a closed session during its meeting April 9.
Town chairman Mike Timmons said Woodruff police chief Corey Backhaus "gave us the synopsis of what had happened."
"And when we came out into open session, the board accepted chief Backhaus' recommendation for discipline from the results from action of an incident on March 26, 2019."
The incident involved Woodruff police officer Tim Cerny, who was off duty at the time.
"Officer Cerny was on his way home and got into an accident right at the intersection of County Road J and State Highway 47, and ended up doing some damage to his truck," Backhaus said. "He also hit a traffic light base with his vehicle, then proceeded home to his house without notifying the police of the accident as required."
Backhaus said he had immediately turned the case over to the Oneida County sheriff's office, who handled the traffic investigation portion of the incident.
According to Backhaus, Cerny was issued three citations as a result of the incident, including failure to notify police, inattentive driving, and hit and run property damage adjacent to the highway.
Timmons said Backhaus brought the issue to the board with a recommendation for disciplinary action, Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse (AODA) counseling, the loss of five vacation days or 60 hours vacation time, indefinite revocation of take-home squad car privileges and a "last chance" agreement signed by Cerny.
"Basically that agreement says that, within the next three years, if there's any violations of policy, state statute, or anything like that, we can move toward termination without recourse on his part," Backhaus said.
Backhaus reported that, to the knowledge of the Woodruff police department, the issue was not alcohol-related, but that law enforcement did not have contact with Cerny the night of the incident as attempts to contact him at his residence were unsuccessful.
In 2016, Cerny was cited by Sawyer County authorities while off duty for a first offense of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated in the early morning hours of March 15.
That charge, according to subsequent court records, was later reduced to reckless driving and Cerny found guilty of that after entering a no contest plea.
Kayla Houp may be reached via email at email@example.com.
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