2001 - 2002 LEGISLATURE
March 13, 2001 - Introduced by Senators Risser and Burke, cosponsored by
Representatives Travis, Musser, J. Lehman, Staskunas, Berceau, D. Meyer,
Seratti, Colon, Sykora, Ryba and Turner. Referred to Committee on
Universities, Housing, and Government Operations.
1An Act to amend
59.26 (8) (b) 3. and 62.13 (5) (d); and to create
59.52 (8) (am) 2
of the statutes; relating to: time limits for a police and fire commission or
3another governing body to render a decision related to the suspension of a law
4enforcement officer or firefighter.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
Generally, under current law, a local law enforcement officer or firefighter (a
county sheriff's deputy or a city, village, or town police officer or firefighter) may be
suspended for just cause by his or her "superior." A "superior" of a local law
enforcement officer or firefighter is a county sheriff or undersheriff, a majority of the
members of a county civil service commission, a county board, a police or fire chief,
or a majority of the members of a board of police and fire commissioners. Before a
a local law enforcement officer or firefighter may be suspended, charges must be filed
against the individual. Such charges are filed in writing with the grievance
committee of a county civil service commission or with a board of police and fire
If a suspended deputy sheriff requests a hearing on the charges that are filed,
the grievance committee must schedule a hearing within 3 weeks after the filing of
the request. If a suspended police officer or firefighter requests a hearing on the
charges that are filed, the board of police and fire commissioners must schedule a
hearing not less than 10 days or more than 30 days following service of charges.
Generally, current law also prohibits a local law enforcement officer or
firefighter from being deprived of pay or benefits while suspended pending
disposition of the charges.
Under this bill, the body that holds a hearing on charges that are filed against
a law enforcement officer of firefighter must render a final decision on the charges
not later than 180 days after the hearing is commenced.
For further information see the local fiscal estimate, which will be printed as
an appendix to this bill.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
SB86, s. 1
59.26 (8) (b) 3. of the statutes is amended to read:
(b) 3. The grievance committee shall, if the officer requests a hearing, 3
appoint a time and place for the hearing of the charges, the time to be within 3 weeks 4
after the filing of such request for a hearing and the committee shall notify the sheriff 5
or undersheriff or the members of the civil service commission, whichever filed the 6
complaint with the committee, and the accused of the time and place of such hearing. 7
If the accused officer makes no request to the grievance committee, then the 8
committee may take whatever action it considers justifiable on the basis of the 9
charges filed and shall issue an order in writing as provided in subd. 5. The 10
committee may take testimony at the hearing, and any testimony taken shall be 11
transcribed. The chairperson of the committee shall issue subpoenas for the 12
attendance of such witnesses as may be requested by the accused.
13committee shall render a final decision on the charges not later than 180 days after
14the date on which the hearing commences.
SB86, s. 2
59.52 (8) (am) of the statutes is created to read:
(am) If a law enforcement employee of the county is suspended or 17
suspended and demoted by the civil service commission or the board under the 18
system established under par. (a) and if that system requires charges to be filed and
allows or requires a hearing regarding the charges be held, the civil service 2
commission or the board shall render a final decision on the charges not later than 3
180 days after the date on which the hearing, if one is held, commences.
SB86, s. 3
62.13 (5) (d) of the statutes is amended to read:
(d) Following the filing of charges in any case, a copy thereof shall be 6
served upon the person charged. The board shall set date for hearing not less than 7
10 days nor more than 30 days following service of charges. The hearing on the 8
charges shall be public, and both the accused and the complainant may be 9
represented by an attorney and may compel the attendance of witnesses by 10
subpoenas which shall be issued by the president of the board on request and be 11
served as are subpoenas under ch. 885. The board shall render a final decision on
12the charges not later than 180 days after the date on which the hearing commences.
(1) This act first applies to suspensions that occur on the effective date of this 15