CALEDONIA - A Caledonia police officer involved in a financial scheme to avoid paying income taxes has been charged with pointing his gun at another officer.
The Racine County District Attorney's office on Wednesday morning filed a criminal complaint against Curtis B. Schollmeier, 37, charging him with the misdemeanor offense of pointing a firearm at another. The charge carries the possibility of a $10,000 fine or up to nine months in jail or on probation.
According to a press release from the Caledonia Police Department, Schollmeier has been placed on paid administrative leave.
According to the complaint, on Nov. 22, 2008, Schollmeier got upset about other officers teasing him, and pulled his gun on one of them.
The complaint follows an investigation by the Racine Police Department, completed in late summer 2010, at the request of the Caledonia Police Department.
The press release states that two years ago, Caledonia police received a complaint that Schollmeier had pointed his firearm at another officer. The incident was handled internally by the former chief of police, Jeffrey Meier, who retired after The Journal Times investigated the payment scheme where the village sent checks to Schollmeier's family and friends for his maintenance work on department squad cars.
According to the release, Caledonia police recently learned of a second allegation that Schollmeier had pointed his firearm at another officer, in the months prior to the Nov. 22, 2008 incident.
Caledonia police then initiated an internal investigation and removed Schollmeier from patrol duty, the release states, and his police powers were suspended. The department then asked the Racine Police Department to investigate the allegations. Racine police gave the information to the Racine County District Attorney's Office, which issued the single misdemeanor charge Wednesday.
According to the criminal complaint, the Nov. 22, 2008 incident happened as Schollmeier and several officers were leaving the department. As they waited to punch out, some of the officers teased Schollmeier, the complaint reads, about his not being on the road because he spent so much time doing squad changeovers.
As the officers punched out and as they left the building, one told the investigator, Schollmeier drew his weapon and pointed it at the back of another officer. The officer said Schollmeier had the gun in his right hand, with the arm fully extended. The officer said he said something like "Now we're resorting to pointing guns at people?" to Schollmeier.
The officer said Schollmeier looked back at him as if he was surprised to see him, and had a blank look on his face. The officer said Schollmeier reholstered his weapon, got into his personal vehicle and left.
When the officer at whom Schollmeier allegedly pointed his weapon asked Schollmeier about it, according to the criminal complaint, Schollmeier admitted he had done it.
The second incident, which the Caledonia Police Department said came to light more recently, was that between May and September 2008 Schollmeier allegedly took out his gun and pointed it at the lower back area of another officer as they were leaving the building. After a few seconds, the witnessing officer said, Schollmeier put the gun back in his holster.
Caledonia Sgt. Gary Larsen said Schollmeier will "stay under the presumption of innocence and go through the criminal proceedings like anyone else would." His paid administrative leave began Wednesday.
Schollmeier's attorney, Patrick Cafferty, said Wednesday that his client "is presumed innocent and intends to enter a plea of not guilty at next Tuesday's appearance." Schollmeier is expected to make his initial appearance on the charge in Racine County Circuit Court on Tuesday.