By Shereen Siewert
SHAWANO — Wittenberg Village President William J. Switalla, who also serves as Shawano County Supervisor, is accused of stealing a grill and other items from a property foreclosed upon by the county.
Switalla, 53, faces charges filed Friday in Shawano County Circuit Court of felony burglary and misdemeanor theft. Switalla has twice sought election to the Wisconsin State Assembly to represent Dist. 6, but was defeated in 2016 in the general election and lost in the primary earlier this year.
The property, at 715 Webb St., Wittenberg, was first visited by county officials April 24 including Switalla, who viewed the property to set a sale price, according to court filings. One month later, staff holding an open house noticed that several items appeared to be missing from the garage.
Witnesses reported seeing Switalla loading a grill from the garage into his van and an inventory showed a ladder and dolly were also missing, according to the complaint. Neighbors said they later saw Switalla return the grill. The home and its contents belonged to Shawano County at the time of the alleged theft, court documents state.
Switalla faces up to 12 1/2 years in the Wisconsin Prison System and a fine of up to $25,000 if he is convicted on the felony charge alone.
He is being summoned for an initial appearance on Oct. 15.