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Town of Campbell police chief may accept plea deal for harassing Tea Party protester

LA CROSSE COUNTY, WI (WTAQ) - A police chief in La Crosse County might take a plea deal Thursday afternoon, when he's due in court for allegedly harassing a Tea Party protester.

Town of Campbell Chief Tim Kelemen is suspected of registering Greg Luce on porno, gay dating, and federal health care sites.

Special prosecutor Kevin Croninger of Monroe County tells the AP he'll charge Kelemen with a misdemeanor count of unlawful use of a computer -- and a further plea deal has been discussed. That was after Kelemen's police force told tea party protesters to take down anti-Obama signs from an Interstate 90 overpass.

Last fall, Kelemen convinced the Campbell Town Board to pass an ordinance banning signs, flags, and banners on the bridge in the name of traffic safety. It angered tea party leaders.

Kelemen's lawyer said Luce responded by urging his group's supporters around the country to make harassing threats and phone calls to the Campbell police. Luce then began receiving calls and e-mails from gay dating and porn sites -- and La Crosse investigators tracked some of that activity to the computers at the chief's home and the Campbell Town Hall.

DA Croninger said he didn't think he could charge the chief with identity theft or misconduct in office, because he did not believe those charges would lead to a conviction.

If he's found guilty of the computer misdemeanor, Kelemen would still be able to keep his job.

The State Justice Department says officers with felony or domestic violence convictions are precluded from working in law enforcement.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)