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Investigation reveals former Stevens Point Police Chief drinking on the job, use of derogatory language

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STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WAOW) — Earlier this year, the now-former Stevens Point Police Chief was put on suspension while an investigation was conducted following allegations of drinking on the job.

The investigation, conducted in part by the Wausau Police Department, reveals seven incidents when witnesses noticed the smell of alcohol on Skibba. Those incidents were at meetings, incident briefings, and lunches.

According to the investigation documents, some of those witnesses feared reporting the incidents for fear of what it would it could mean for their own jobs.

One particular incident happened in February. According to documents, Skibba got lunch with Assistant Chief Zenner and Assistant Chief Rottier. Rottier said he could "smell a strong odor of an intoxicant emanating from Chief Skibba's breath."

The report says after the three returned from lunch and checked security cameras, Assistant Chief Zenner checked the Chief's police car.

There he found a black duffle bag with two bottles of vodka. In a statement, Zenner said, "Inside the bag I observed two bottles of previously opened Barton Vodka. One bottle was 1.75 liter, which was half empty. The second bottle was 750 ML, which was 3/4 empty."

Zenner and Rottier said they confronted Skibba about their suspicions. According to the investigation, Skibba initially denied the allegations but consented to a preliminary breath test (PBT). According to records, the result of the PBT was .036 AC.

Skibba was advised to disarm and was driven home by Rottier. Zenner notified Police and Fire comission President Gary Wescott.

The report also identifies a pattern of derogatory language used by Skibba while in his role as Chief.

The report outline incidents in which Skibba used sexist slurs, referenced certain minority groups and characterized them in derogatory ways.

Additionally the report says: "Chief Skibba has used profane language in briefing settings, making staff feel uncomfortable," and "Chief Skibba has made sexist comments in briefing settings that caused at least one supervisor to inform his shift to disregard the Chief's Comments."

Chief Skibba ultimately resigned in June. Citing personal issues he was dealing with at the time.

Zenner is currently serving as Interim Chief and the department is in the search process for a new chief.

Sarah McGrew

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