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P-1 Update: "Doctored evidence" alleged in controversial off-duty conflict
There's a new development in the case of former officer Matt Hoskins, who was charged with attempted murder-and acquitted-after a controversial off-duty altercation. (See Chuck Remsberg's 2-part report on Hoskins' ordeal).
Late last month, a hearing was held by the Wisconsin Dept. of Workforce Development on a claim by Hoskins that after the incident he was wrongfully terminated by the sheriff's department where he worked as a jail lieutenant.
A detective testified that after the firing, another detective told him he had been ordered by the sheriff to forge and back-date a training document that reflected poorly on Hoskins. "I'm going to put down that he was real aggressive," the witness quoted his fellow detective as saying. The witness said he then walked away because he "didn't want to hear any more."
Hoskins and his attorney charge that this "doctored evidence" was intended to help justify Hoskins' undeserved dismissal. However, the accused detective testified that the document was written shortly after Hoskins completed a firearms training course, before the off-duty confrontation occurred. He said he considered the reference to Hoskins' aggressiveness to be "a compliment," reflecting a "positive" attitude about training.
This, despite the fact that the document was used in Hoskins' criminal trial as evidence against him.
The sheriff himself testified that it made no difference when the document was written so long as the contents were accurate. He claimed he didn't know exactly when the document was created.
A decision on Hoskins' wrongful termination claim is expected in April. A firearms expert who has followed Hoskins' situation closely says there may still be more disclosures to come in this tangled case. PoliceOne will keep you informed.
Meanwhile, Hoskins recently received a dunning letter from the neighboring county where his trial for attempted murder was held. Despite his acquittal, he still owes $20 for the booking fee associated with his arrest, the letter sternly reminded. The county is threatening collection proceedings if he doesn't pay promptly.