By Sarah Parker | County Line Editor

Concluding its investigation last week, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office will seek no charges against Wilton woman Becky Hahn in connection with an alleged altercation at the Wilton Village Hall on Sept. 9.

Leigha Barton, the village’s clerk/treasurer, reported to Wilton Police Chief John Stavlo on Sept. 9 that she had been involved in a dispute with Hahn in the hallway outside the village office, stating that she wanted to file criminal charges against Hahn and would like to request a restraining order. Hahn had been attempting to submit recall papers for board members Sid Thayer and Eli Yoder when the incident occurred. To date, it appears no one has submitted recall papers for either candidate. 

In his report, Detective John Brose stated, “At this time, from what I have been provided, I do not see any form of harassment. I also did not see any actions or altercation that would meet the criteria for disorderly conduct.”

Video courtesy of Becky Hahn

In a letter dated Sept. 20, the village’s attorney, Penny Precour, sent a letter to Hahn advising her that she was no longer allowed to enter the village office could not have direct contact with Barton. The letter further instructed Hahn to do business with the village via email, U.S. Mail or the village drop box. 

The ban applied to the Wilton Community Center room in which clerk/treasurer Leigha Barton has her office and where the board often meets. The ban did not apply to the entire building, and Hahn has been allowed to continue attending meetings, which have been in the Wilton Community Center gymnasium the past two months. 

The board as a whole did not vote on the ban. Rather, according to an email Precour sent Oct. 12 to the County Line, “ … (T)he board authorized (board member) Eli Yoder to be the liaison with my office to discuss and address issues as warranted. This issue fit under that authority. It was determined that trying to defuse the conflict in this fashion was the best option.”

Both the Wilton Police Department’s and the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office’s reports appear below: 

Wilton Police Department incident report

2:31 p.m. Sept 9, 2022

Responding officer: John Stavlo

Primary suspect: Rebecca Hahn of Wilton

Individual involved: Leigha Barton

On 09/09/2022, at approximately 1431hrs, I, John Stavlo, Village of Wilton Chief of Police, received a telephone call from Leigha Barton, Village of Wilton Clerk. Barton stated on the phone that she had just been involved in an altercation at the Village offices located at 400 East Street in Wilton, Wisconsin. The altercation had occurred in the first-floor hallway of the Village Community Center. Barton stated that she wanted to file criminal charges against Hahn and would like to request a restraining order. 

As I was in the Village of Wilton doing maintenance work at the cemetery, I agreed to return to the Village offices to gather information related to the altercation. I returned to the offices and requested that Barton come to my office to provide a recorded statement concerning the altercation. 

Barton arrived in my office at approximately 14:50hrs. I engaged a recording device and placed it on the desk between Barton and myself. I then asked Barton to relate what had occurred earlier that afternoon with Hahn. Barton related the following:

That she had been working at her desk in the Village clerk’s office when she had heard someone outside the Village office door. She walked over to the door and upon opening it found Hahn standing in the hallway. Barton continued by stating that Hahn had numerous documents and papers in her hands while simultaneously filming the outside of the village office with her phone. 

Barton stated that Hahn then presented her a personally typed document and demanded that Barton sign the document. Barton refused to sign the document. According to Barton, Hahn was attempting to submit documentation for a recall and that the document was some form of verification of turning the document into the clerk’s office. 

Barton then stated that Hahn was fumbling with the documents she was trying to submit. Barton stated that in an effort to help Hahn she took an envelope from her hand which she believed contained the documents she was going to submit. 

Hahn became upset, grabbed the envelope back from Barton, and stated that those were not the documents to be submitted. Barton stated that because of Hahn’s agitated state, Barton told her that she would have to come back another day to submit any of the documents. 

With that, Barton states that she turned to return to the office, but Hahn attempted to follow her back in. It was at that point Barton states she took hold of the office door and slammed it shut in Hahn’s face. 

I asked Barton if there had been any physical contact between the two during the altercation. Barton related that there was not to her knowledge. I asked if anyone had been injured. She stated no, not to her knowledge. I asked if she had contacted the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office. She stated she had not. I then asked if she was aware of the procedure for filing a restraining order. Barton stated that she was aware of the procedure. 

Barton also related that while this altercation had been taking place, she had been on the phone with a vendor of a company named [redacted] Landowski. Barton stated that Landowski was on the phone at the time of the altercation and should have been able to hear it in its entirety. Barton then gave me Landowski’s phone number. 

In closing, I stated that I would gather information from her and Hahn to forward to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office for further investigation. 

A short time later, I called the phone of Becky Hahn and recorded the call. I was transferred to her voicemail. I left a message where I explained that I would like to speak to her concerning the altercation at the Village offices earlier in the day. I explained that I would like to get her side of the story. I gave her the Village of Wilton Police Department cellular telephone number to make contact with me to set up a time to get her statement. 

Later on 09/09/2022, at approximately 1548hrs, I received a return call from Hahn. I again reiterated that I wanted to get her side of the story and when would she be willing to meet with me. I told her that the village had video of the incident from the hallway camera. Hahn stated that she had phone video from the incident with audio as well. I asked that if she had the video if she would be willing to give me a copy of it for the investigation. She stated that she was in the process of determining whether to contact a lawyer and would not commit to providing me the video. 

Hahn then asked what charges were going to be filed. I explained that I was conducting the initial investigation but was going to turn my initial investigation over to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office as it would be a conflict of interest for me as a village employee to investigate the issue to its conclusion. Charges such as disorderly conduct, harassment or simple assault could be filed. I concluded that until I had more information, I could not determine if any charges would be filed. 

Hahn asked me when I would like to submit the information to the sheriff’s office. I stated I would like to get her side as soon as possible, but I would submit it without her information if necessary. I finished that I would like to have it there by Monday. 

Hahn stated she would get back to me and that concluded the conversation. 

Later on 09/09/2022 at approximately 1644hrs I contacted Landowski via phone. I introduced myself to her and explained the reason for my call. Landowski stated that she had been on a work-related call with Barton at the time of the incident with Hahn. She stated that she could hear the conversation for about 30 seconds between Barton and an unknown party. She heard Barton say that she was not going to sign and heard the other party raise her voice and then depart. Landowski stated she could not hear clearly what the other person said. 

I asked Landowski if she had heard Barton use any foul language or being abusive to the other party. Landowski stated that no time did Barton say anything offensive. Landowski stated that at the end of the conversation, Barton had stated she was going to call the police now and that was the end of the conversation. 

On 09/10/2022 I conducted a review of the Village of Wilton Community Center’s video security system. During the review I noted the following activity:

At 14:26 hrs a white female I knew to be Hahn enters the first-floor hallway of the Village offices. Hahn is carrying a stack of papers in one hand and her phone in what appears to be a position to videotape in the other hand. 

Hahn walks to the door and can be seen to place the papers on a countertop and peers under the door to the village clerk’s office. She appears to be videoing the outside of the clerk’s office during this time. Hahn then begins to shuffle through papers on the countertop. 

Moments later, Barton steps out of the door of the clerk’s office. It appears that a conversation is taking place. Papers continue to be shuffled by Hahn, and Barton can be seen reaching onto the counter. Additional conversation is exchanged at which point Barton turns and goes back to the Clerk’s office. Hahn attempts to follow her into the office, but it appears that Barton closes the door, barring entry. 

At 14:27hrs Hahn then gathers papers from the countertop and departs. The entire incident lasts approximately one minute. During a review of the encounter, I noted no physical contact between Hahn and Barton. I also noted that Hahn appeared to be using her cellular phone to record the entire incident. I made a copy of the video of the surveillance camera and will place it into the file. 

On 09/11/2022, I traveled to [Hahn’s residence]. Upon arrival, I activated my body camera and went to the front porch of the residence. I was met at the porch by Hahn and her husband. I asked Hahn if she would like to give me a statement concerning the incident at the Village offices. She stated that she was not going to give me a statement and that she had retained a lawyer. I asked her for the name of the lawyer, but Hahn could not provide one. I then explained that I intended to turn the matter over to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office for additional investigation. I then departed the property. 

Writer’s note: This incident is one in a series of incidents reported to me by Barton concerning harassment. According to Barton, Hahn and others are harassing her verbally and on social media. Barton has related to me that she has numerous social media posts which are harassing in nature. 

To reduce any conflict of interest in this matter, I am forwarding this report to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office for addition investigation. 

End of report. 

John Stavlo, Chief of Police, Wilton, Wis.

Monroe County Sheriff’s Office

Primary Narrative by Detective John Brose, 10/11/22

On October 3, 2022, I, Detective Brose, was assigned this case for follow-up due to a “conflict of interest” within the Village of Wilton, WI. I received Chief Stavlo’s report in regard to an altercation that occurred on September 9, 2022, between Rebecca Hahn and the complainant, Leigha Barton. 

Chief Stavlo took the initial complaint from Leigha Barton in regard to the altercation, and due to the fact that Chief Stavlo and Leigha work together, I was asked to continue with the follow-up portion of the incident/investigation (See Wilton PD Report Case 2022–0011). 

On October 7, Chief Stavlo and I met in regard to the case. Chief Stavlo provided me with the surveillance footage as well as a series of text messages and recordings on a DVD. I reviewed the surveillance footage of the alleged altercation. The footage shows Hahn walking into the village hall with her phone out. Hahn takes video of the door and office window, and then appears to bend down to see if anyone was there. Hahn appeared as though she was about to walk away, but then heads back to the counter of the office window. 

Barton exits the office, and the two are next to each other, and it appears that Hahn was looking through her paperwork. Barton appears as though she reached for something in Hahn’s pile and Hahn takes the item back. Hahn then attempts to give Barton a different set of papers, and then Barton turns her back on her and proceeds to her office. Hahn is seen gathering her papers and walking back down the hallway. It did not appear that any physical or verbal altercation took place based on the body language as there was no audio. 

On the DVD provided, there were multiple files that contained messages Chief Stavlo had been given by Barton. I reviewed the multiple Facebook posts and Facebook messages. The messages appeared as though they were recovered from a group chat. I did not see any messages where Hahn was messaging Barton directly. 

Later that afternoon, I contacted Hahn. Hahn apologized for even being involved with the drama in Wilton, as she doesn’t see any of this as a law enforcement concern. I informed Hahn that I needed to speak with her in regard to the alleged altercation that occurred on September 9, 2022. Hahn invited me down to her residence to speak with her. 

Later that afternoon, I met with Hahn at her residence. Hahn and I spoke in her living room. I asked Hahn to explain to me what occurred on September 9. Hahn explained she and [name of individual redacted] were outside of the village hall with paperwork for recall petitions. Hahn explained Barton had come outside when they were there and asked if they were there to file recall paperwork. Hahn said Barton had told them they needed certain forms to do so. 

Hahn said she told Barton she had all of the appropriate paperwork. Hahn said Barton told her that she was going to lunch and Hahn would have to put the paperwork in the drop box as she walked off. Hahn said she told [redacted] that she wasn’t sure if this was the type of paperwork that could be put in a drop box. 

Hahn said she then made phone calls to the Wisconsin Election Commission. Hahn said she was told that if the clerk was available, she was supposed to take the papers. However, the drop box was an option if nobody was available. Hahn said she asked the WI Election Commission if she was allowed to video record herself putting the paperwork in the drop box. Hahn said she was informed that it was legal for her to do so. Hahn said she went back to the village and started recording as she was going to file the paperwork. Hahn said she recorded that the office was closed and was going to file the paperwork in the drop box when Barton came out of the office. Hahn stated, “That is when the quote ‘altercation’ happened.” Hahn said the folder Barton grabbed was Hahn’s personal folder. Hahn said she told Barton, “’No, honey, not that one,’” so I reached over and took it from her and like traded.” Hahn said Barton told her that she couldn’t do that and had to wait for someone else to be there and went into her office and slammed the door.

Hahn said she contacted the WI Elections Commission again and informed them of what happened. Hahn claimed the commission spoke with Barton and allegedly told her that she was supposed to take and file the paperwork. 

Hahn said, “The next thing I know, I have a voicemail from Stavlo saying there was an incident and he wants to know if I want to make a statement.” Hahn said she told Stavlo, “I’m sorry if she views me asking to do her job as an altercation.” 

Hahn said she told Stavlo she had video/audio to prove there wasn’t an altercation. Hahn said she decided to hang onto the video recording until she found out what was happening. Hahn said she received a letter from one of the village attorneys explaining Hahn was not allowed to have contact with Barton via phone or physical contact and was not allowed in the village office “because of my behavior.”

I again asked Hahn why she didn’t want to place the paperwork in the drop box during lunch time. Hahn said she wasn’t sure if that was a valid option and didn’t know if Barton had to provide anything that the paperwork was filed or if anything was missing. Hahn said she wanted to verify if leaving the paperwork in the drop box was a viable option. 

I asked Hahn to explain what her and Barton’s relationship was like before September 9. Hahn explained she used to do in-home daycare, and when Barton moved to Wilton, she was referred to her. Hahn said that during this time, Hahn and Barton conversed and the two had a lot of the same visions for Wilton. Hahn said Barton was the one who pushed Hahn into running for Village President. Hahn said she served as village president from April of 2021 to August of 2021. Hahn said she resigned “for these reasons. This woman is incredibly dishonest and this is just the tip of the iceberg.” Hahn explained the day she took office, things changed. Hahn said she saw Barton do things that were “little but still immoral and fishy.”

I asked if Barton was in the office before Hahn. Hahn believed Barton was hired as deputy clerk a few months before Hahn took her position as president. Hahn explained Barton was in her position as the current clerk Lori was phasing out at that time. Hahn said, “That was where the friction started happening.” I replied, “So there wasn’t really a fallout.” Hahn replied, “It was kind of gradual. The last straw was we had to hold a board meeting that I asked her to post. She purposely double booked the community hall because she didn’t like the person who booked it. She told me this much.” Hahn said she had to get the board involved as it was getting ugly because of the double booking. 

Hahn said she called the meeting and asked for a “closed session employee committee meeting. At the committee meeting, she (Barton) knew the gig was up. She knew that I knew what she was doing and I was coming after her.” Hahn said she told Barton she was not allowed at the closed meeting. Hahn said Barton blew up and told Hahn she wasn’t allowed to make that decision. Hahn said she was the one who called the meeting and as president, she was the only allowed to make that decision. 

Hahn explained it became a heated debate in which [board member] Dr. Yoder sided with Barton and said Barton was allowed to stay. Hahn said she motioned to close the session and said she was done. Hahn said later that night she talked things over with her husband about her position. Hahn said neither she nor anyone else on the board knew what or how the operation of being on the village board entails. Hahn said there had been multiple times that Tim Welch and Barton have said, “’Nobody has gone to jail for’ (fill in the blank). Not posting proper agendas, not posting the minutes. You know, all of the things that as a functioning government body they are supposed to be doing.” 

Hahn explained she felt at that point she needed to resign from her position. Hahn continued with, “In addition, I am seeing dishonesty and just abhorrent things from the clerk.” I asked Hahn to provide examples. Hahn explained Barton couldn’t get along with the long-time clerk who was training Barton. Hahn said Barton would claim that she wasn’t training her or helping her. Hahn said the board ended up firing Lori. 

Hahn said Barton then went after another longtime employee, Phyllis. Hahn said Barton claimed Phyllis would come to Barton’s office and harass her and be rude to her. Hahn recalled a time when Phyllis confronted Barton about her time slip being off once again. Barton told her different reasons of why it was off and claimed she would fix it. Hahn said she heard Barton get on the phone and claim Phyllis was harassing her again. 

Hahn said Barton also lied to her about “Nate from the pool. She tried to get him fired last year.”

Hahn explained there were times Barton changed the meeting minutes. I asked if Barton changed the minutes to interpret what she heard or recalled. Hahn said it wasn’t that and that Barton would put in there “that such and such said this,” which wasn’t correct.

Hahn explained she took over the many things Barton wasn’t doing correctly and brought it to Tim Welch’s attention. Hahn said, “I was told over and over again, nobody has ever gone to jail.” I asked Hahn if she was president at this time. Hahn said she was and everybody had told her to go to Tim as he was still a trustee and can help out. 

At that point, I viewed the video recording off of Hahn’s phone. I also recorded the video with my phone and uploaded the evidence to I did not see any sort of verbal altercation or physical altercation. I believe Barton became upset when Hahn took her personal file back from Barton and asked her to sign a form acknowledging that she received the paperwork. Barton walked off and shut the door. Hahn said, “You are precious,” however, the door was already closed and it was unknown if Barton even heard the statement. 

Hahn said she didn’t record when she was at the village office around noon as [name redacted] was with her.

I informed Hahn that I heard about her posts on Facebook and Barton believes that was harassment. Hahn replied, “I am being accused of that.” Hahn acted surprised when she heard that. Hahn said she doesn’t talk to or message Barton. Hahn said that if she had ever used Barton’s name in describing what happened, that was not harassment. Hahn said, “This is the game she is playing. She has got like six or seven residents that she has got this on. She is trying to press harassment charges against them.” Hahn said, “I posted that her position was open. Yup, I posted that her reign of terror is over.” Hahn explained that if someone disagrees with Barton, Barton sees it as an attack on her. 

I asked Hahn, “When you went down there (Sept. 9), were you at all trying to push buttons?” Hahn replied, “Oh, Jesus, no. I don’t have to even know that that woman exists. I don’t. There are things that I avoid. It’s like overwhelming. She like literally berated my 87-year-old neighbor because he didn’t understand his water bill.” 

I asked Hahn, “What was the point of recording her then?” Hahn explained that after she spoke with the election commission about not trusting the clerk and dropping the paperwork in a drop box, Hahn asked if it would be okay for her to record or document her doing so. Hahn said she was told it was fine. I replied, “I didn’t know if you were doing that to screw with Barton.” Hahn said, “no.” 

I informed Hahn that from what I am understanding about the drama in Wilton is that people screw with each other and then become “keyboard warriors online.” Hahn asked if I had seen some of the “beautiful things that Leigha (Barton) had posted.” Hahn explained a post of Barton’s after a video surfaced of Barton’s daughter lifeguarding on her phone with earbuds in. Hahn said Barton posted a message about “it’s stabbing time.” I asked Hahn if there was a direct threat or if that meant “stabbing people in the back” such as talking behind their back. Hahn wasn’t certain but took is as a threat to someone. 

I informed Hahn that Barton believed she was being harassed. Hahn replied, “I have the right to go out in public and say what I think about her. If I stand out front of her house and sing it to her nightly, that might be harassment. It’s not affecting her in any way.” Hahn again mentioned that when Barton doesn’t get her way, she tends to resort to claiming she was being harassed. 

At this time, from what I have been provided, I do not see any form of harassment. I also did not see any actions or altercation that would meet the criteria for disorderly conduct. 

DVD was placed into evidence. Interview with Hahn was placed into evidence. 

Detective John Brose

Editor’s note: Printed in its entirety, the following is the letter Village of Wilton attorney Penny Precour sent to Becky Hahn. The letter is dated Sept. 20, 2022. 

 Please be advised that I was contacted by the Village Board regarding your inappropriate contact and unacceptable behavior directed towards the Village Clerk, Leigha Barton. As I understand it, such contact and behavior has been referred to the Monroe County Sheriff’s office for further investigation to determine what, if any, action is warranted. 

In the meantime, to avoid further conflict, the Village Board has directed me to advise you that, until further notice, you are no longer permitted inside the Village Office. You are further restricted from any face-to-face and telephonic contact with the Village Clerk, Leigha Barton. Any Village-related business that warrants contact with the Clerk must be conducted via U.S. Mail, e-mail or the drop box located outside of the Village Office. Please provide me with a courtesy copy of any emails. This will ensure that such communication is documented and appropriately addressed. 

The Village Board recognizes your rights as a Village resident. However, it has a duty to ensure that the Clerk, as a Village employee, is permitted to work in an atmosphere where preventable conflict is minimized. Rest assured the Village Board is not preventing you from conducting Village business. It is simply restricting the methods of doing so based upon your own recent behavior. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.