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City of Mayville moves to compel Forster to release employment information

July 31, 2018

JUNEAU — The city of Mayville, being sued by a former police officer, wants more information about his employment history, according to documents filed in the suit.

Mark Forster is suing the city, the city’s insurer and former police chief Ryan Vossekuil, claiming he is entitled to compensation over a letter Vossekuil wrote in August 2017. Forster says the letter violated a confidentiality agreement he signed with the city when his employment as a police officer ended in 2016.

As part of the discovery phase, the city and its insurer, EMS, requested that Forster provide information about his complete employment record starting in August 2016, including a description of wages and benefits.

They also requested information about any jobs he has applied for, any interviews and job offers, anything about possible unemployment benefits or retirement benefits and all sources of income.

Forster did not provide the information, objecting to the requests as not relevant, too broad and burdensome. The lawyer for Mayville and EMS filed a motion to compel discovery for the requested information, arguing that Wisconsin law requires it and that the information is relevant to Forster’s claim for damages as part of his lawsuit.

When Vossekuil sent the letter that led to Forster’s lawsuit, he was the acting police chief and in negotiations to take over permanently. In the letter — which he said he sent to his lawyer, City Clerk Sara Decker, Mayor Rob Boelk and Dodge County Sheriff Dale Schmidt — he took issue with Mayville Common Council member Rachel Forster, the wife of Mark Forster, being involved in the negotiations over Vossekuil’s employment.

Vossekuil wrote that he was the officer assigned to investigate Mark Forster’s “alleged misconduct.” Forster was employed from March 2013 to October 2016, when he resigned.

Forster claims that the reference to “alleged misconduct” violated a confidentiality agreement he signed as part of his separation from employment with the city. What the “alleged misconduct” refers to has not been publicly disclosed.

Forster also claims that an interview Vossekuil did with Watertown police in a separate incident involving former chief Chris MacNeill violated the agreement. Vossekuil denies the claims.

A hearing on the motion to compel discovery is scheduled for Aug. 30.

Vossekuil left for a job as police chief in Jackson earlier this month.

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