Amery City Council suspends police chief after OWI - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

NEW INFORMATION: Amery City Council suspends police chief after OWI

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Amery (News Release) - The Amery City Council met on Monday evening, February 24th to complete its investigation regarding the OWI citation issued to Amery Police Chief Tom Marson.

On Thursday, February 20th, Chief Marson pled guilty to operating his vehicle while under the influence on the night of February 15th. The court imposed a $714 fine and suspended Chief Marson's driver license for six months and required Chief Marson to attended AODA counseling.

After meeting with Chief Marson and his attorney, Mark Biller, the Amery City Council decided to take the following action:

- Chief Marson has been suspended without pay for a two week period beginning on Monday, February 24th.

- Chief Marson has received a Last Chance Warning outlining that if in the future he were to violate any State laws or and City polices or procedure, he will be subject to immediate termination from his position as the Amery Police Chief.

- Chief Marson will be expected to fulfill all of the requirements outlined in the Court's decision regarding this offense including attending ADOA counseling.

- During the six month suspension of his driver's license, Chief Marson will be required to have a temporary worker driving permit and will be required to leave the Chief's police vehicle at the police station when he is not working.

- Chief Marson also agreed to waive his right under state law to a Public Hearing § 62.13.

In taking this action the City Council considered Chief Marson's 29 year service record with the Amery Police Department including the past eleven years he has served as Police Chief. Chief Marson has had an exemplary record and has served the Amery Community extremely well during this time. In addition, Chief Marson has handled himself with great integrity and honesty since the incident and initially contacted the Sherriff's department to report his accident. During the Sheriff Department's investigation, Chief Marson cooperated fully with the department and then took complete responsibility for his actions when he pled guilty to the citations. Finally, the majority of community feedback received by members of the City Council and the Mayor have been very supportive of Chief Marson.

The City Council felt that because of the nature of the incident and his position as Police Chief, it was still necessary to take further action beyond what the court had decided. However, the Council has complete confidence in Chief Marson and believes that this incident will not impact Tom's ability to continue to fulfill the responsibilities as the Amery Police Chief. Chief Marson has been very remorseful and understands how his actions have impacted the Council, the department and the community.

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Polk Co. (WQOW) - Five days after being arrested for drunk driving, a police chief pleads guilty.    

Amery's police chief Tom Marson was arrested at his home after his vehicle went into the ditch on Saturday.

Thursday, he pleaded guilty to first offense OWI.  He must pay a fine and will lose his license for six months.  Right now, he's on paid administrative leave.  A part-time officer is serving as acting police chief.

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Polk Co. (WQOW) - An area police chief has been arrested, suspected of driving drunk.

Amery's police chief was arrested early Sunday. He allegedly had a blood alcohol level almost twice the legal limit.

According to the Polk County Sheriff's Office, Thomas Marson put his personal vehicle in the ditch just before midnight Saturday, then reportedly got a ride home. A deputy talked with Marson at his home shortly afterward, where he failed a breathalyzer. A second test, after his arrest showed his blood alcohol level was .15%.

The Amery Police Department released this statement:

On Saturday, February 16, 2014, Police Chief Tom Marson was arrested for a suspected OWI at his home following his vehicle going into a ditch on HWY 46 South of Amery. Chief Marson has been placed on paid administrative leave pending further investigation.

The City of Amery Personnel Committee met in closed session on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 6:00 p.m. Following the closed session, no action was taken. Retired Sgt. Mark Meyer who also is a part-time officer with the department is serving as acting Amery Police Chief while Tom Marson is on administrative leave.

The Amery City Council will meet in closed session on February 24, 2014 at 6:00 p.m. to discuss further information gathered in the investigation of this incident.

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