1/22/2014 3:39:00 PM Petition started to reinstate terminated Chief Deputy
By Tara Lindquist
On Tuesday afternoon, Dodge County Assistant Public Defender, Rachael Drenckpohl started handing out a petition to have former Dodge County Chief Deputy Michael Leonhardt reinstated. The petition quickly circulated throughout the courthouse and on social media sites.
She said the reason for the petition is to show support for Leonhardt. "I've known him since I started in county, he's always been a respectful and honorable man," she said. "I was shocked when I heard he was let go, there's just no sense to it."
Drenckpohl has worked with Leonhardt since she started in Dodge County in the late 90's. "I've always known him to be a dedicated employee to the sheriff's department." She also added he always treated her clients with respect and dignity and never heard of him acting inappropriately.
The petition will not have any power in swaying the county board to reinstate Leonhardt because they do not have the authority to do so, but she hopes it does put the pressure on Sheriff Jensen to do the right thing.
The petition states,
"The citizens of Dodge County elected Jim Jensen as their sheriff and as such, expected him to act within his powers as sheriff on their behalf. Those powers do not include wielding them for his benefit such as firing a 26-year employee with an unblemished record for his own personal reasons. Michael Leonhardt is an outstanding officer and is liked and respected by all of the people that have worked with him over those years with the sole exception of Jim Jensen.
To fire a man of Leonhardt's dedication and unblemished 26-year career with the Dodge county Sheriff's Office is at best unthinkable, unwarranted, unfair and inane and at worst a miscarriage of authority that should not go unseen and unpunished by the citizens of this county.
If you agree please sign and date this petition and demand that his serious misuse of power be corrected by reinstating Michael Leonhardt as Chief Deputy of Dodge county with all back pay that accumulated in his absence in that position.
The petition is being circulated throughout the county and on social media sites. County employees will give the petitions to the County Commissioners at their next meeting on January 28."
"We want the sheriff to know that we support Mike," Drenckpohl said.