Tuesday, October 24th, 2017

A quick note about a Waukesha aldermanic candidate

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My wife, the Lovely Doreen from Waukesha, and I are both flattered that people have asked for either of us to run as a write-in candidate for alderman. Unfortunately Doreen’s current time commitments prevent her from running, and I could not write for Wisconsin Watchdog, or anywhere else, if I decided to run. So unless someone else runs as a write-in candidate, next Tuesday our district will elect Cassie Rodriguez to represent us on the city council.

Last week the news broke Rodriguez was arrested in 2013 because she, “allegedly refused to cooperate with police questioning related to a domestic incident at her Waukesha home,” according to the Waukesha Freeman. The charges were dropped because she allegedly become more cooperative at the police station.

Life happens, and given that the charges were dismissed I would normally be inclined to ignore the whole matter given that the public did not appear to be in danger. However, the incident brought to everyone’s attention her live-in boyfriend Tim Seltz who seems to have an unhealthy obsession with criticizing the police. He runs the “Waukesha Cop Block” Twitter feed.

It would be somewhat hypocritical of me to say someone should be accountable for the beliefs of their spouse or live-in love interest. As I’ve often remarked, my wife and I don’t always agree on every issue or candidate.

But where there is a potential for a conflict of interest, I do believe people have the right to be concerned. Given my profession, if the Lovely Doreen interviewed to fill a vacancy on the Common Council, I fully expect that aldermen would ask her about keeping issues that are discussed in closed session confidential. (I’d also expect Doreen to have a reasonable, professional answer to the question.)

In this particular case, we’re going to have an alderman on the Waukesha Common Council who will be privy to deliberations in closed session that will likely affect the Waukesha police department. Given her live-in boyfriend’s obsession with the police, can the council feel confident that confidential discussions of legal and personnel matters will remain confidential?

I want to stress that this isn’t just a reflexive concern over someone who’s criticized the police. I’m also known for criticizing the local police department on occasion. But with Seltz, his behavior in following the Waukesha police department’s activities is, to put it politely.

I’d actually be more inclined to believe Rodriguez’s statement that she doesn’t participate in her boyfriend’s activities if the arrest wasn’t for obstructing a police officer. This may indicate she shares his bias against police, especially given the description of what happened:

According to the incident report, police responded to Rodriguez’s home just before 2 a.m. Sept. 21, 2013 after receiving a report of a domestic disturbance between a man and a woman. Officers heard shouting inside the residence as they approached the door and entered the home after hearing a struggle near the door.

Police interviews with Rodriguez’s boyfriend, Timothy Seltz, revealed that the two had a loud verbal argument outside their home earlier that night, but then moved the conversation inside after Rodriguez had “gotten a little out of control,” according to the report. Seltz said he never laid hands on her and she never did on him, accordingto the report.

 

During questioning, Seltz was found in possession of marijuana and paraphernalia, according to the report.

Meanwhile, the report said, Rodriguez became “extremely agitated” once officers entered her home, questioning why they were in her house and telling them they needed a warrant. While an officer tried to question her about what had transpired, Rodriguez refused to provide information regarding the incident and refused to provide her middle and last names.

She was ultimately taken into custody on suspicion of being the primary physical aggressor during the domestic incident, for refusing to provide identifying information to officers and for refusing officers entry into the home.

Rodriguez registered a .210 on a preliminary breath test when taken into custody, according to the report.

I’m also concerned that while she talks about the police being transparent, she has stopped talking to the media. Not a good start for a fledgling public official.

Perhaps I’m wrong and Rodriguez will be a responsible, responsive alderman representing our area for the next three years. I am happy that she seems intent on learning how our city actually works, and I’m clinging to that as a good sign. But she will need to prove herself, and she shouldn’t be surprised when she’s judged by the company she keeps. (As well as the pot smoking in her home.)

As for the Lovely Doreen and I, thanks for thinking of us, but we have to decline.

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