Deputy under investigation for relationship with inmate - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Deputy under investigation for relationship with inmate

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MADISON (WKOW) -- The Dane County Sheriff's Office is investigating an intimate relationship between a deputy and a female inmate on electronic monitoring.

A Dane County Sheriff's supervisor was informed of the potential relationship at the end of May.  An investigation was immediately initiated.

As part of the investigation, an interview was conducted May 30 with the female inmate.  During the interview, the inmate, who wears a monitoring bracelet and is restricted to her residence, stated she was involved in an intimate relationship with Deputy Jeffrey Hilgers.  Hilgers was immediately placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

The investigation reveals the two met while the inmate was incarcerated in the Dane County Jail last year.  During that time, they exchanged email and phone numbers.  In April 2013, the inmate was out on the electronic monitoring program  With permission, the inmate had gone to the grocery store, where she saw Hilgers.  She approached him and they began a relationship that culminated in an intimate relationship. 

On June 3, a search warrant was executed at Hilgers' home and all electronic equipment related to this investigation was seized.   

Reports related to the investigation were turned over to the Dane County District Attorney's Office for review of potential charges, which include second degree sexual assault.

Sheriff Mahoney states "it is absolutely unacceptable for a deputy to take advantage of the power and control relationship and develop an intimate relationship with an inmate".

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