A day after Cop Block’s last article on the Wauwatosa (Tosa) PD Robin Schumacher case, the department emailed back. In 2013, she’d reportedly detailed sexual harassment by WPD supervisors in her resignation letter. The department’s lieutenants, despite having already provided that document, claim to not have access to it.
A series of legal dramas preceded the 2013 resignation of former detective Robin Schumacher. In July of that year, WPD issued a search warrant of Schumacher’s home claiming she’d taken prescription drugs from evidence.
In September of that same year, Schumacher sued for allegedly enduring longstanding harassment and intimidation. These usually centered around her being gay, and weren’t contained to just Schumacher. Wauwatosa was eventually able to settle this for $77,000, as well as her resignation. Robin Schumacher later left the Milwaukee/Wauwatosa area for Muskego, and hasn’t spoken publicly since. To date, she hasn’t responded to repeated requests for comment.
Despite allegedly recovering drugs from her home, charges weren’t issued for two years. Additionally, Schumacher claimed she’d been prescribed medications for anxiety, PTSD, and depression. Those medications were allegedly taken from her by supervisors, leading to an eventual emotional erosion. These same supervisors, she’d reported, routinely subjected Schumacher to sexual harassment and bullying.
That harassment, according to Wauwatosa Now, was detailed extensively in her resignation letter. Multiple sentences were quoted by the outlet, which obtained the document via FOIA (Freedom Of Information Act) requests. It’s unclear, however, if Wauwatosa Now filed those requests with Tosa PD, or workers’ rights agencies. None of these quoted sentences were present on the single paper sheet WPD provided contributors.
Cop Block’s document, instead of detailed paragraphs, was two run-on sentences long. It included an electronic copy of Schumacher’s signature, as well as Chief Barry Weber’s. Other than the signatures, the rest appeared to have been digitally typed.
A second request was issued for the same letter, which WPD stated it’d received on December 1st, 2016. That led to a long period of total silence from WPD until until January 10th, 2017. According to administrative Lieutenant Jack Morrison, he doesn’t “have access to the information requested”. What’s more, he stated he’d “forwarded the request up the line.” That response came a day after Cop Block published an article questioning the first document’s validity on January 9th, 2017. Currently, it’s been over 50 days since the second request for Robin Schumacher’s resignation letter was received by WPD.
Here’s the question: If Morrison doesn’t have access to it, then what’s the document initially provided? Is it legitimate? Who has access to it? Who’s responsible for this spotty compliance with open records laws? Are laws being broken by the department’s tight lipped attitude?
Wauwatosa PD forces these questions upon themselves by denying transparency in this way. Similarly, requests from Cop Block–and concerned residents–regarding the Jay Anderson shooting have been denied, or redirected. In fact, it wouldn’t be at all surprising if an email is sent to contributors after this article is published. Until then, Tosa PD abandons its citizens to wonder what’s true, or hidden.