HORTONVILLE, Wis. (WTAQ) - The public works director in Hortonville has been fired, after he allegedly threatened to kill the village police chief and tried to cover up a theft of tools.
Village Administrator Everett Mitchell said he fired 44-year-old Ronald Austreng on his own. Austreng is scheduled to make his first court appearance Thursday in Outagamie County Circuit Court on charges of intimidating a witness, disorderly conduct, and two counts of obstructing officers.
The village suspended Austreng after his arrest on May 5th. Mitchell tells the Appleton Post-Crescent he wanted to find another solution to Austreng’s employment situation – and there turned out not to be one.
Prosecutors said he tried to cover up the theft of tools by a fired employee of Boldt Construction – tools which were used to rebuild a village pier before they were returned to the company. Austreng was also accused of intimidating his employees into staying quiet about the matter.
And the day before his arrest, prosecutors said he made a threat to kill Hortonville Police Chief Mike Sullivan – who was tipped off about the tool theft last June. Prosecutors quoted Austreng in telling the Village Board last November that a lot of money was saved putting in the pier the way they did.