RACINE — A Racine County Sheriff’s Office lieutenant is being investigated after a sizable amount of money went missing from a dead man during an investigation.
Walworth County District Attorney Zeke Wiedenfeld sent a letter to Racine District Attorney Patricia Hanson and Racine County Sheriff Christopher Schmaling alleging that Sheriff’s Office Lt. Chad Schulman, who was on the scene investigating the man’s death when the money went missing, made “untruthful” statements regarding the incident.
“The circumstances surrounding Lt. Schulman’s untruthful statements involve a significant amount of money that went missing after it was collected as evidence from the body of a deceased male,” Wiedenfeld’s letter reads. “Lt. Schulman handled the money at the crime scene prior to the money being placed into an evidence bag and logged into evidence at the Racine County Sheriff’s Office.”
Upon learning of the allegations, Schmaling said, he placed Schulman on leave pending the outcome of the investigation.
“Although disappointed and saddened by the allegations, I immediately turned it over to Waukesha County Sheriff’s Office to ensure transparency to our community,” Schmaling said.
The letter alleges that Schulman was interviewed twice with his attorney. The first time, Schulman denied stealing anything from the scene and said that the medical examiner called him when he arrived on scene. Phone records later determined that statement was untrue, Wiedenfeld’s letter said.
In the second interview, Schulman denied talking with the medical examiner over the phone.
Schulman also said he took money from an investigator on the scene because he was wearing gloves and the other investigator was not. Crime scene photographs show the investigator on scene wearing a glove while handling the money, rendering Schulman’s statement false.
The last piece Weidenfeld determined to be untruthful was a claim by Schulman that he remained on scene after collecting the money from the investigator. Phone records showed that Schulman called the investigator who was on the scene shortly after he collected the money.
“Although these were the only statements that I identified as untruthful in my review of the reports, there are other potentially untruthful statements contained throughout the reports,” Weidenfeld stated.
Schulman was promoted to lieutenant in January 2017. He was assigned to the Criminal Investigations Bureau on March 25, 2017.
Schmaling said the Sheriff’s Office is currently awaiting a decision from the Walworth Country District Attorney’s office regarding the incident.
“I can assure you this situation, in no way, reflects the hard-working men and women of the Racine County Sheriff’s Office who put their lives on the line each and every day all in the spirit of public safety,” Schmaling said. “That said, rather than making this our defining moment, let’s allow the judicial system to run its course and move forward.”