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City administrator threatened in letter

City Administrator Devin Willi received a letter Friday that threatened his job and his family if he doesn't take steps to "fire the police chief and the officers who are harassing us..."

The letter was sent to Willi at City Hall and was among the mail he received on his desk Friday. Willi opened the hand-addressed envelope, read the letter and immediately contacted Hudson Police Chief Dick Trende.

The letter, which was typed and had no signature, asserted that Willi was refusing to fire the chief and certain officers "to protect his buddies."

The letter included threats to Willi's wife and children stating, "We know where your wife works. We know where your kids go to school. We know where they take piano lessons and play sports. They need to watch there (writer's spelling) back too."

The letter indicated that, "If you would just do the right thing and get rid of those bad cops nothing bad will happen."

The writer said that the longer Willi waits "to fire them the more bad things will happen to you and your family." The letter indicated they didn't want to hurt anyone but, "We will do what we have to to bring down the police department and the school board and anyone else who doesn't agree with us."

The letter concluded with the statement, "You've been warned."

The letter went on to list several things that would happen if Willi didn't do what the writer wanted including spreading false rumors around town and on the Internet about Willi and his family. The letter said that the rumors were already being spread but would get worse.

Why the letter was sent to Willi is unclear since he does not have the authority to take action against anyone in the police department. Complaints against Trende or any of his officers are heard by the city's Police and Fire Commission, and any disciplinary action would be initiated there, not by Willi's office.

The writer said, "We will do everything we can to ruin your reputation so that you lose your job. We will make you worthless in this town and no one will trust you."

Trende said his department considers the letter a threat against the school board and officers in his department as well as to the Willi family. The letter could bring two felony-level charges: threat to injure and threat to communicate.

According to Sgt. Marty Jensen of the Hudson Police Department, Willi has no idea who sent the letter. Jensen said the letter has been forwarded to the state crime lab, where he hopes they will be able to get fingerprints from it. "We are taking this very seriously and will investigate it fully. If anyone knows anything about this threat or who made it, they should contact us," said Jensen.

To contact Jensen at the HPD, call (715) 386-4771.

Meg Heaton can be reached at mheaton@rivertowns.net

Meg Heaton
Meg Heaton has been a reporter with the Hudson Star Observer since 1990. She has a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and Native American Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.
(715) 808-8604
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