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Odden v. Board of Fire & Police Commission



321 N.W. 2d 161 (Wis. 1982)


Violation of Due Process/Wrongful termination


Case Summary:

Around midnight on March 22, 1978




fficer Gail A. Quade decided to have a few colleagues over. Officer Timothy J. Oddsen was one of the co-workers in attendance. Officer Oddsen remained at the home after the other guests had gone. Officer Quade’s estranged husband stopped by unannounced and discovered the two officers alone in what appeared to be a compromised situation. The estranged husband contacted authorities immediately


An overabundance of officers arrived at the scene. Officers Quade and Oddsen were taken in for questioning. Officer Oddsen asked for representation on behalf of himself and Quade. His request was denied. He expressed that he was extremely tired due to a lack of


but he was still required to answer questions until the interrogator was satisfied with his answers. He stated that he had not had sexual relations with Quade the morning in question. However, he did admit to sexual relations with her on three separate occasions. He answered the questions aware that he would lose his job if he did


and he also answered the questions without the counsel that he had requested.

Officer Quade was also interrogated about her relationship with Oddsen. She was sick and reportedly vomiting blood. She was able to make calls to her doctor to schedule an appointment to be seen but once the time would come, she was denied the opportunity to seek medical attention from her attending physician.

She was only asked if she would like medical treatment after 5 when her attending physician was out of the office. She

admitted to having sexual relations with Oddsen on three occasions outside of the morning in question. She was interrogated for 14 hours before being released.

Chief Harold Breier ordered that both officers be terminated on the grounds of the statute of adultery. The decision was taken by the Board of Fire and Police Commissioners and upheld. There were separate appeals entered for each officer to the Circuit Court of Milwaukee County.


Case Arguments:

Officer Gail A. Quade argues that she was off duty, denied adequate medical attention, intimidated into answering questions out of fear of losing her job, and denied counsel.

Officer Timothy J. Oddsen argues that he was off duty, denied counsel, intimidated into answering questions out of fear of losing his job, and his statements were under duress since he repeatedly stated he was tired.


The officer’s right to Due Process was violated


The court ruled that both officers were denied due process and coerced. The termination was


and they are due all monies owed.


The court ruled this way because the officers were off duty and the interrogation process was inhumane, unprofessionally nosy, and a violation of their Fifth Amendment Rights.


The one legal point taken from this case is those police officers are also entitled to due process.

No less than 100 words and respond to this persons discussion

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