RACINE — Chad Schulman, the ex-Racine County Sheriff’s Office lieutenant accused of stealing from a dead man’s belongings, has officially resigned from his position, Sheriff Christopher Schmaling confirmed.
Schulman has been investigated for possibly taking “a significant amount of money” that was found during an investigation into a man’s death.
In July, Sheriff Schmaling said that he placed Schulman on leave after learning of the allegations, pending the outcome of the investigation. Schulman later resigned on Oct. 19, Schmaling confirmed on Friday.
The Journal Times could not confirm whether or not the investigation remains open. Online court records show that Schulman has not been charged with any crimes related to the case.
A letter written by Walworth County District Attorney Zeke Wiedenfeld, which was sent to Racine District Attorney Patricia Hanson and Schmaling, claimed that Schulman also lied to investigators during Walworth County’s investigation.
The Journal Times first learned of that letter in July, when the investigation was still considered ongoing.
“The Racine County Sheriff’s Office continues its pursuit of exceptional and transparent public safety services to our community,” Schmaling said Friday.
After being an investigator, Schulman was promoted to the rank of sergeant in 2015 and became a lieutenant in January 2017.
At the time he was placed on leave, Schulman had been the primary investigator in a case of alleged misconduct perpetrated by City of Kenosha officials.
Schulman had been investigating Merril Kerkman, the City of Kenosha’s information technology director, who had allegedly accessed other people’s email accounts, intercepted emails and archiving deleted emails without authorization.
The Kenosha Police Department reportedly uncovered the alleged email infiltration in 2014, when the accused director was still working as a contractor. Also reportedly being investigated in the case is Kenosha City Administrator Frank Pacetti, who plans to retire on Dec. 31.
The KPD passed the case off to the Racine County Sheriff’s Office.
As a result of the controversy surrounding Schulman, Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley asked the Wisconsin Department of Justice’s Division of Criminal Investigation to take over the investigation.
“Unfortunately, the primary investigator from the Racine Sheriff’s Office has fallen under a cloud of suspicion, as he has been accused of stealing money from the scene of a death investigation and making false statements relating to the alleged theft,” Graveley wrote in his request to the state. “Although these accusations against the Racine investigator involve a totally separate case, they call into question the investigator’s credibility as a witness and the reliability of any investigation that he conducted.”
To suspend or to resign
In unrelated cases, two Racine Police Department officers — Sgt. Terrence Jones and Officer Brinelle Nabors — have remained on paid leave for more than one-and-a-half years each.
The RPD has not confirmed why Jones was placed on leave. He hasn’t worked for the RPD since Jan. 3, 2017 and has been paid more than $144,900 during that time.
Nabors was charged for multiple crimes after allegedly punching a Park High School student in November 2015, and he was placed on leave the next month. Charges weren’t filed in that case until May 2018 and, after a delay, a jury trial is now scheduled for January 2019.