Public meeting held on sex offender placement in New Auburn

Published: Jan. 13, 2020 at 10:29 PM CST
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For more than a month, David Hager has been living in a trailer off County Highway F in the Village of New Auburn.

Officials say there are multiple procedures in place to keep the community safe.

Including GPS monitoring, random visits, and he can only leave his residence pre-approved and with a chaperone.

In 1995, Hager was found guilty of three counts of sexually abusing a child.

When the Wisconsin Department of Health Services was looking for a location to place Hager, they settled on a property in New Auburn.

There are currently 63 sex offenders throughout Wisconsin that have been placed by the DHS.

There were restrictions on where Hager could be placed, not within 1,500 feet of a park or school.

Despite these provisions, neighbors and community members say they received no notification that Hager was being put in their village.

"The committee, which is labeled an SBN committee, will then hold a meeting prior to that release to determine first and foremost where this person is going, who is going to be supervising him, what type of community notification is going to be mandated by the committee and eventually that notification is put out by the sheriff and the sheriff's department," said Chippewa County Sheriff Jim Kowalczyk.

"I never saw anybody there until December 2nd when they brought David Hager and I saw some cars there. But the Chippewa County Sheriff's Department is actually responsible for notifying the people in the community, and it can ask for the Department of Corrections help with it if they want to. They knew on November 5th, they didn't tell anybody that he was coming," said John Erdman, who is a neighbor of Hager.

Kowalczyk says there was some miscommunication during the notification process.

There is a possibility that more sex offenders could be placed at the house by a judge, but nothing is in the works on that right now.

The house that Hager is living in is being leased out by the DHS.

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