Retired Ripon Police Capt. Chris Stieber
Retired Ripon Police Capt. Chris Stieber

   Does it create bias — or at least, the appearance of bias — if a former member of the police department is put on Ripon’s Police Commission?

   The Ripon Common Council wrestled with that decision Monday evening.

   Though aldermen roundly applauded former Ripon Police Capt. Chris Stieber’s career and interest in joining the commission, the council was split on whether it was appropriate to approve his nomination for the body.

   Ultimately, Mayor Gary Will’s nomination of Stieber for the Police Commission failed to be approved 3-4, but not before the council entered into its first substantial conversation on such a nominee in recent memory.

   It occurred after what appeared to be heavy lobbying by other members of the Police Commission against Stieber’s approval.

   “I did have a visit Saturday at my house from one of the commission members ...,” Will said. “I know that a lot of you had phone calls and apparently emails and conversations with individuals also.”

   That may be what urged Ald. Joel Brockman to raise a flag of concern at Monday’s meeting regarding the former captain, who retired in 2010 after a 31 1/2-year career.

Read the full story in the March 1, 2018 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.