Police Chief Charged With Signing Up Tea Party Leader on Gay Porn Sites

July 24, 2014 - 2:11 PM


Police Chief Tim Kelemen

Campbell, WI Police Chief Tim Kelemen (center) in court after being charged with unlawful use of a computer to harass a Tea Party member. (AP/LaCrosse Tribune)

(CNSNews.com)-- A  police chief in Wisconsin has been charged with a misdemeanor after he used the name of a local Tea Party leader to create fake accounts on gay dating and pornographic sites, as well as HealthCare.gov and Match.com, to harass him.

Tim Kelemen, chief of police in the Town of Campell in western Wisconsin, faces one count of unlawful use of a computerized communication system, which carries a maximum penalty of $1,000 in fines and 90 days in jail.

However, his attorney. Jim Birnbaum, and Monroe County District Attorney Kevin Croninger have worked out a deal that will allow Kelemen to avoid conviction if he pleads no contest and completes counseling and 40 hours of community service, according to the Associated Press.

Kelemen admits to signing up La Crosse Tea Party leader Greg Luce for the websites, Birnbaum told the Associated Press.

According to the incident report of the case, “Kelemen went on to confirm what he had done and said he wasn’t going to deny it, but said he didn’t think it was that big of a deal.”

Kelemen and Luce have reportedly been at odds since last fall, when Kelemen convinced the town's board to pass an ordinance banning signs, banners, and flags on an Interstate-90 overpass frequented by Tea Party protesters as part of the Overpasses for Obama's Impeachment project.

Last December, a Campbell police officer issued citations toTea Party members for displaying the American flag on the overpass.

Overpass protest

Protesters in Campbell, WI on Interstate-90 overpass. (AP/Thomas More Law Center)

Kelemen says that Luce then urged his supporters across the country to bombard the Campbell Police Department with phone calls to protest the move.

"I think it isn't fair when the behavior of the Tea Party has been unchallenged and unabated," Birnbaum said in defense of his client. "Then to have a charge filed against the chief because of, really, an act of frustration is unfortunate.”

However Luce’s attorney, Erin Mersino, disputed Kelemen’s claims.

“I think that this is a person who has made a terrible mistake who is trying to divert away attention from what he personally did,” Mersino told CNSNews.com.

“All of these claims, to us, are totally unfounded and not based in truth, and we have not seen any evidence other than the attorney’s statements to the media,” Mersino noted.

Luce has filed a federal lawsuit against the police chief accusing him of identity theft and violating his First Amendment rights. Kelemen’s attorney did not return multiple calls from CNSNews.com for comment.

A decision has not been made on whether Kelemen will remain police chief. That decision is up to the Campbell Town Council, Mersino told CNSNews.com. Only those with felony misdemeanor convictions related to domestic violence are barred from the police force, according to the Wisconsin Department of Justice.