Chippewa County Sergeant Files Formal Complaint With DOJ About Bloomer Officer's Firing

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There's a new development in the Bloomer cop controversy.

A sergeant with the Chippewa County sheriff's Department says he filed a formal complaint with the Department of Justice about the recent firing of Bloomer Police Officer Chris King.

Sergeant Robert Cunningham says he filed the complaint February 24 because he wants the DOJ's Integrity Unit to look at the facts to see if King's firing was appropriate.

Cunningham says he considers King a personal friend and believes he acted lawfully when trying to make an arrest the night of January 14.

The Department of Justice hasn't confirmed it received the sergeant's complaint yet.

Below is some background information and a timeline of the events preceding this story:

Jan. 14 - Bloomer Police Officer Chris King, Chippewa County Deputy Nick Gardow respond to call for a restraining order violation at the Bloomer House. According to the criminal complaint, Police Chief Mike Bungartz was at drinking at the bar and disagreed with King on whether the female in question was violating her restraining order.

Jan. 26 - Chippewa County District Attorney Jon Theisen says he is charging Bungartz with two counts of obstructing an officer and two counts of disorderly conduct. The criminal complaint says Bungartz used profanity in public and obstructed King, while he was trying to make an arrest.

Feb. 2 - Bloomer Common Council grants paid leave of absence to Bungartz, who faces four misdemeanor charges - stemming from the Jan. 14 incident.

Feb. 20 - Bloomer Mayor Randy Summerfield fires Bloomer Police Officer Chris King after King declined an offer of a six-month extension to his probation. King says Bungartz threatened his job while responding to the call on Jan. 14 and says the firing is in retaliation to his conduct that night. Summerfield says King declining the extension left him with two choices: "Do nothing and King becomes a full-time officer, or terminate." Summerfield says conversations about King's negative attitude started long before the Jan. 14 incident.

Feb. 24 - Chippewa County Sergeant Robert Cunningham says he files a formal complaint with the Department of Justice, asking the Public Integrity Unit to look at the facts to see if King's firing was "appropriate." (Note: The DOJ has not confirmed receipt of the complaint.)

Feb. 28 - Bloomer Common Council holds public meeting at Bloomer Middle School. At that meeting, the council unanimously asked Summerfield to re-hire King. The council also discussed police staffing issues and the possible creation of a police and fire commission.

Mar. 1- King says he and two union representatives meet with Summerfield to ask if King could return to work that night. According to King, Summerfield told King he was still terminated.

Mar. 1 Story:

Fired Boomer police officer Chris King says he and two police union reps met with Bloomer Mayor Randy Summerfield today (Mar. 1) to ask if King should go back to work tonight.

Last night, the Bloomer Common Council unanimously asked Summerfield to re-hire King, but King says Summerfield told him today he is still terminated. King says he's disappointed the mayor isn't listening to the council's request.

Summerfield is currently the head of the police department because Police Chief Mike Bungartz is on paid leave after a dispute between Bungartz and King, stemming from a police call at the mayor's tavern on January 14.

CLICK HERE to read the story about the Bloomer Common Council meeting last night (Feb 28).

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