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Wisconsin official's retaliatory actions bring legal trouble

Almost everyone in Wisconsin has experienced frustration or anger that led them to contemplate retaliatory action. In some cases, individuals take action even though, in a more rational mindset, they would likely do otherwise. Even seemingly petty actions could create a situation that requires a criminal defense, which is why it's best to avoid such reactions when possible.

One Wisconsin police chief is facing public scrutiny and may even face criminal charges. The actions that landed the man in hot water occurred when he reached a high frustration level over his dispute with local activists.

According to reports, activists were against an ordinance that prohibited speech behavior on an interstate pedestrian pass. Activists felt the ordinance went against their rights; local officials said the prohibition was a safety measures. Allegedly, the activists harassed local officials for months over the issue.

Allegedly, the police chief took matters into his own hands by using one of the activist's name. On both his home and work computer, the police chief allegedly used the other man's name and contact information to sign up on dating, porn and insurance websites.

The police chief is on leave while an investigation occurs. One official said that there was a difference between a crime that had the potential to end a career and a simple lapse in judgment. The investigation will decide how authorities view the chief's actions. In the meantime, the activist has filed a suit stating that the chief invaded his privacy, violated his right to petition and participated in civil identity theft.

Avoiding gray-area activity is one of the best ways to protect your freedom and reputation. If you find yourself in such an area, however, an early defense strategy is one way to protect your future.

Source: Pioneer Press, "Wisconsin police chief allegedly used tea party activist's info for porn, dating sites" Anne Jungen, Jun. 13, 2014

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