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Cop's Disciplinary Appeal to Be Heard in December

The city's Police and Fire Commission will hear evidence on behalf of the Police Department and Officer Sarah Mork as Mork appeals a four-day suspension for failing to properly seatbelt a prisoner she was taking to jail.

The city's Police and Fire Commission Thursday set a Dec. 4 date to hear a Brookfield police officer's appeal of her four-day suspension for failing to properly seatbelt a prisoner in her squad.

Attorneys for Police Chief Dan Tushaus and Officer Sarah Mork agreed to waive a preliminary hearing and reading of charges Thursday, allowing the commission to rule there was a sufficient basis to proceed to an evidentiary hearing Dec. 4.

A commission decision likely would be issued within a business week after the hearing.

The chief imposed four-day suspensions on Mork and her fellow officer, Rick King in connection with a March 24 prisoner transport.

According to the chief's Statement of Charges:

The two officers failed to seatbelt a male prisoner while taking him from Elmbrook Memorial Hospital to the Waukesha County Jail. The prisoner was handcuffed and put in the back of the squad but not seatbelted.

As Mork backed up the squad, she hit a concrete pole. The prisoner had worked his cuffs from his back and was close to getting his hands in front of him, the charges allege.

After the prisoner was checked for injuries after the accident, he was again cuffed, put in the back of the squad and this time, seatbelted, the charges allege. But on the drive to the jail, Mork and King heard a "click" and did not stop to re-belt the prisoner, instead driving on the remaining 1.7 miles to the jail without further incident.

King accepted the suspension; Mork is appealing it to the Police and Fire Commission. The chief's charges allege Mork has a lengthy history of disciplinary problems. Mork's attorney said there were "special circumstances," but declined further comment before the evidentiary hearing.

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