Evergreen officer's hearing held over inmate tasing incident

Published: Oct. 14, 2011 at 10:38 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 15, 2011 at 12:28 AM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn
Officer Sean Klatesch takes the stand.
Officer Sean Klatesch takes the stand.

EVERGREEN, AL (WSFA) - The officer at the center of a tasing incident and two other complaints against the City of evergreen in court Friday for his due process hearing.

Evergreen Mayor Pete Wolff recommended the officer be fired. Friday a judge heard testimony to determine his fate.

Evergreen police detective Sean Klaetsch defended himself on the stand, but didn't want to defend himself on camera.

Before a hearing officer, Klaetsch says his wife Melissa tased Crystal Skinner Coleman and he strapped her to a restraint chair.  Action the jail surveillance video didn't capture. But we do see former Conecuh County correctional officer Alicia Brown pulling Skinner's arm.

"I'm going to do whatever it takes to protect the citizens and the city of Evergreen from whatever expense or exposure they have," Mayor Wolff said.

For the first time, Mayor Wolff reveals why he recommended Klaetsch's termination.

"The celebration, that's what bothered me," Mayor Wolff said.

In the jail surveillance video, Klaetsch appears to be smiling, gesturing and laughing along with his wife and Brown after the tasing incident. Klaetsch's attorney Magowan Williamson, who declined an on-camera interview, argued that's no grounds for termination.

The tasing incident is one of three damage claims against the city in which detective Klaetsch is accused of unprofessional and harassing conduct. The sister of the alleged tasing victim Ladon Smith hopes justice is served.

"It's not going to end until he leaves Conecuh county," Ladon Smith said.

Evergreen city attorney Richard Hartley says Klaetsch is on administrative leave until the hearing judge decides his fate.

"If he upholds it, it's up to Mr.. Klaetsch to go forward in some kind of court action. If he denies it Klaetsch is back to work and decisions will have to be made," Hartley said.

The hearing officer says he will review the jail surveillance video and make his ruling within two weeks.

Detective Sean Klaetsch has been with the Evergreen police department for 15 years. It's unclear of the employment status of Melissa Klaetsch who actually tased Coleman. Alicia Brown resigned her position as a Conecuh County correctional officer last month.