Stratman returning to work next week - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Stratman returning to work next week

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LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) -- La Crosse County Sheriff's Deputy Trisha Stratman will finally report in for work July 29.

Stratman was involved in a car crash that killed teenager Brandon Jennings, of Holmen, in July, 2010. She ran a red light while driving to the scene of a bar fight to assist a fellow officer.

Deputy Stratman was acquitted by a La Crosse County jury in November, 2011 but was fired from the sheriff's department three months earlier, in August.

Stratman appealed her firing to the county administrator, who ruled it was justified.

But an arbitrator last month overturned the decision -- saying Stratman's firing was not valid and ordering her reinstated with approximately 20 months of back pay.

La Crosse County Corporation Counsel David Lange said Stratman is scheduled to return on July 29.

He added the county is unlikely to challenge the arbitrator's decision, citing a very high burden of proof needed to overturn it.

"While we disagree with the decision we just don't have the grounds to appeal it," he said.
Sheriff Steve Helgeson said it will be "a number of weeks" before Stratman is back on patrol by herself.

She has to first undergo testing and training to make sure she's fit for duty.

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