Local News


I-Team: Courthouse Security Supervisor Canned

By Aaron Diamant

MILWAUKEE - An exclusive I-Team investigation uncovers shocking details about the man hired to run security at the Milwaukee County Courthouse.

When security supervisor Chad Wegener showed up for work at the Courthouse Wednesday, he had no idea it would be his last day there.

"If we don't know who's protecting us, or who's supposed to be protecting us at the front door, I think it may lead to other issues that may happen in the courthouse," warned District 18 Supervisor Johnny Thomas.

Wegener works for Wackenhut Security Services, a big international firm, which took over security at the Courthouse last month.

However, back in 2004, Wegener resigned as chief of police in Manawa, Wisconsin amid scandal -- accused of making repeated unwanted sexual advances towards on-duty male officers after pressuring them to drink beer and watch pornography at his home.

Wegener plead no contest to five misdemeanors, including disorderly conduct, and spent three months in jail.

And Wegener wasn't just coordinating security at the Courthouse. He also oversaw things at the Criminal Justice Facility, the Safety Building, and two other county buildings.

We confronted Wegener at a Courthouse checkpoint.

Reporter: "I wanted to ask you about something. We're hearing from some folks who aren't real happy with your supervisor position here after the way things went down in Manawa."

Wegener: "I can refer you to our office."

Reporter: "Does the office know about all that?"

Wegener: "I can refer you to our office."

Reporter "What are they going to tell me?"

Wegener: "I'm just going to refer you to our office here."

County Executive Scott Walker had no idea about any of this until we told him.

"Simply put, we told Wackenhut today that we want them to get rid of this individual from Milwaukee County," said Walker. "What they do elsewhere is up to them and their attorneys, but in terms of working in Milwaukee County, we want them to bring in somebody else."

But Wegener only got the job after Walker ordered building security outsourced -- an emergency move to save money. At least one county supervisor has no problem pointing fingers.

"He can't deflect his responsibility," said Supervisor Thomas. "He's responsible for making sure that Wackenhut does a good job, and obviously he just looked at the savings instead of the safety."

Walker's spin is a bit different.

"Had this come up with someone who was employed by the county, we would be stuck under Wisconsin law," Walker said. "Because it's a private firm, we can tell them we want somebody else brought in, and that solves our problem."

At least the problem of Chad Wegener, who Wackenhut pulled and put on leave.

No one at the Wackenhut office Wegener told us to call would talk to us on camera. A written statement from Mark Schaefer, Wackenhut's General Manager of Wisconsin Operations, said the company did do a background check on Wegener and knew about his past. However, then Wackenhut passed the buck to the State of Wisconsin, which gave Wegener a private security license. Still, the company put Wegener on administrative leave while it takes another look at his background.

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