Walworth County Circuit Court Judge David Reddy signed an order today dismissing Sgt. Bill Beth’s appeal regarding his 2021 demotion from Captain to Sergeant. He was demoted by his cousin, David Beth, who was the Sheriff at the time, after allegations of misuse of comp time and insubordination.
In December 2020, a few months after the Kenosha riots, the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department commenced a broad investigation involving the use of “s days” or comp time as it is commonly referred to. Supervisors (Sergeants, Lieutenants, and Captains) at the Sheriff’s department are salaried and are not paid overtime when they work more than 40 hours in a week. Comp time is paid time off designed to compensate a supervisor for working more than 40 hours in a week. During the riots, many of the hard-working supervisors had to work more than 75 hours in a week. To compensate the supervisors, Sheriff David Beth offered each one of them one paid 8-hour “mental health day”. Retired Captain Robert Hallisey was placed on administrative leave during the beginning of Bill Beth’s alleged conduct. Hallisey allegedly approved comp time above the 8 approved hours without permission from his superiors or according to County policy. Hallisey retired in the middle of this internal investigation. Bill Beth drafted a memo with the help of his subordinates that outlined a policy that would allow supervisors to take a great deal of comp time within either a two week period or a 30-day period after the extra work was put in. According to Chief Deputy Marc Levin, Bill Beth implemented this policy and began to approve hundreds of hours of comp time unilaterally.
The County Board would have had to approve this expenditure. Kenosha County hired two private investigators with extensive law enforcement investigation experience to investigate the allegations. They found in the investigation that everyone told the truth and their stories lined up, with the exception of Beth. He was not truthful in the investigation, they concluded. He was also accused of gross insubordination – a fellow Captain described it as “the worst case of insubordination I’ve seen in my decades-long career.”
Sergeant Beth appealed this decision to the County’s Finance and Administration committee. On June 22, 2021, the board voted to affirm this demotion. On August 27, 2021, Beth filed an appeal in Kenosha County Circuit Court. All Kenosha judges recused themselves and the case went to a Walworth County Judge. Per the order, which KCE doesn’t have a copy of, Beth will remain as a Sergeant. Beth is expected to retire this summer.