Probe: Butler P.D. officers accused of inappropriate behavior

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BUTLER (WITI) -- The Waukesha County Sheriff's Department has released a scathing report on the Village of Butler Police Department. Investigators say nearly the entire department viewed pornography on work computers while on the job -- and that's not all.

The nearly 350-page report was released by the Waukesha County Sheriff's Department, and the investigation began with a complaint against the Butler Police Chief.

In the report, the Butler Police Department, in the heart of tiny Butler is called "dysfunctional" -- a "frat house" that was permeated with elements of "racism and pornography."

In a department with just seven officers, five are accused of viewing pornography on work computers and cell phones in a practice described by one employee as "porn in the morn."

Jesse Thyes is the village administrator. He says an investigation was launched in February, after a village employee made a complaint against Police Chief Michael Cosgrove.

"It's never a good situation. I knew right away I would need outside assistance with this," Thyes said.

An investigation ensued, and the Waukesha County Sheriff's Department found the chief had pornography on his work computer, had made racist comments with staff members and had supervised his department through fear and intimidation.

Cosgrove retired shortly after an investigation began, with Cosgrove writing on Facebook in March: "I'm officially retired. Suck it Butler politics."

Waukesha County Sheriff's investigators interviewed the entire department.

"Unfortunately, some side issues did come up during the course of those various interviews," Thyes said.

One officer admitted to showing his privates routinely to other police officers. A police lieutenant was found to have left the village to handle a personal problem -- even though he was the only officer on duty. Multiple officers used computers to run background checks on ex's and family members.

"Unfortunately, I believe this may have been systemic of an atmosphere that was created by the former chief," Thyes said.

All of the four officers in trouble are still on the job -- but officials are considering a three-day suspension. One officer has had charges against him referred to the District Attorney's Office. That officer is on paid leave.

Village officials say the entire police department is being retrained.

Monitor FOX6 News and FOX6Now.com for updates on this developing story.