Elected officials, department heads and administrators in the city of West Bend held meeting after meeting Monday to deal with the news that their former coworker was facing a pair of felony charges involving alleged solicitation of a minor.
Former city administrator T.J. Justice has been suspended with pay after being arrested last Thursday, April 22 in Muskego. A criminal complaint shows he allegedly propositioned a 16-year-old girl for sex.
At City Hall officials met and worked to determine the next best step to keep the operation of the city of West Bend moving forward. A couple of bullet points on where things stand now and predictions on what’s next.
-West Bend assistant city administrator Amy Reuteman has been tabbed as the new interim city administrator.
-Interviews are occurring as the city works to hire a Human Resources Director. That position had previously been held by Reuteman and prior to that it was held by Steve Volkert who left for an administrator position in Hartford.
-Reuteman also still holds the position of city clerk. The head building inspector position is also vacant. There’s a high probability there will be a promotion from within to head the Community Development Department.
-One of the issues most aggravating to taxpayers is that Justice is being paid while suspended. Mayor Kraig Sadownikow said, “Based on the information we had at 8 a.m. on Friday morning the best way at that point in time given the limited legal information to make sure he was not allowed back into City Hall was to suspend him with pay and we are balancing emotionally with what we’d like to do with legally what we can do.”
-The West Bend Common Council meets Monday, May 2. It’s expected they will retire into closed session to deal with the suspension of Justice and discuss their options.
-Police in West Bend are keeping information close to the vest as they gather evidence – the case remains under investigation.
-It’s expected counselors were offered to staff on Monday at City Hall should they be having trouble dealing with the situation.
-A report about police handing out tickets to people who may have been making obscene gestures toward Justice’s home on Columbia Place was not true according to the WBPD.
-Justice was released Saturday on $5,000 bail. He is scheduled to appear in Waukesha County Court at 10 a.m. on May 2 for a hearing before Judge Thomas Pieper.
-A portion of the criminal complaint, the State of Wisconsin vs. Thomas M. Justice is below.