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SUPERIOR - Superior Police Chief Chuck LaGesse went on the record
Tuesday about the most recent investigation of his now-former police
captain. He also acknowledged the sour tensions that have been
billowing within the department for years.
Chief LaGesse has only been the top cop for three months, he said he's
not wasting any time gaining back the trust from not only the community
but his police force.
"This has been very difficult on me,” LaGesse said, referring to the recent perjury investigation of veteran Capt. Chad La Lor.
La Lor was a close friend of mine, a close worker, a close co–worker --
someone I respected the ability of and counted on the talents as I took
the office of chief,” LaGesse said.
But LaGesse said he felt
strongly to launch an investigation after officers accused the 18–year
veteran of lying under oath about alleged drinking and driving – all
prior to his 2009 hit and run incident involving alcohol.
"It took courage to come forward with these concerns and I'm appreciative that they chose to do so," LaGesse said.
the Bayfield District Attorney and the Washburn County Sheriff both
concluded a lack of evidence to arrest La Lor for the crime of perjury,
LaGesse felt it was best for the captain to resign because of tensions
already running strong through the department involving discipline of
officers, including La Lor himself.
"There was a perception that
association officers were reprimanded more severely than supervisory
staff. And that's one of the issues that lead to some contention in our
agency,” LaGesse said.
As La Lor stood firm on his innocence
through the whole ordeal, LaGesse said he's standing firm on creating a
police department that's doors open for officers and the citizens of
"The first step in regaining the trust of the community
is being transparent and saying there were problems and we are
addressing them and the expectations are set higher. I think that's
something the members of our department want also.”
It is a department LaGesse said is made up of good officers he’s proud to hold to the highest new standard.
expect every member of the Superior Police Department to dedicate
themselves to professional policing and to conduct themselves – on or
off duty – in an honorable fashion."
Chief LaGesse said an
internal investigation is under way Tuesday into officers who did not
report La Lor's alleged drinking and driving offenses when they