Supporters of Fired Dodge County Chief Deputy Come Forward

Created: 01/21/2014 10:44 PM
By: Steph Crock

(ABC 6 News) -- A few days after the firing of Dodge County's Chief Deputy, people are reaching out to support him.

After 26 years with the department, Chief Deputy Mike Leonhardt was fired Friday. All the sheriff would say is that Leonhardt wasn't loyal. The former chief deputy is now responding through a statement released Tuesday, and those he worked with are starting a push to get him his job back.

"I was shocked. I can’t imagine why Mike Leonhardt would be fired," said Dodge County Assistant Public Defender Rachael Drenckpohl. She says it seemed to have come out of nowhere. "I've never heard anything bad about him, not even a rumor that he'd done something wrong," said Drenckpohl.

The now former chief deputy fired back Tuesday in a statement saying, in the past three years his confidence in the sheriff has changed dramatically but his loyalty to the people of Dodge County and his dedication to the department has never wavered.

"As a public defender, I kind of go through my job, you know, righting where I see wrongs and representing my clients, and I think this is a wrong. I think this is a huge wrong in the system," said Drenckpohl.

Which is why she started a petition. "To see if we could put some kind of pressure on the county commissioners, maybe some pressure on Sheriff Jensen, to reinstate Mike,” said Drenckpohl.

We reached out to Sheriff Jensen and those with the county who met in a closed door meeting Tuesday. They say for legal reasons, they can't comment. In the meantime, some who work just down the hall from them are working to bring Leonhardt back.

"He shouldn't have even lost the job to begin with, absolutely. That's the only way to right this wrong," said Drenckpohl.

The issue is set to be discussed at a meeting with Dodge County Commissioners January 28th.

You can read Mike Leonhardt's full statement here.