A deputy with the St. Croix County Sheriff’s Office was arrested over the holiday weekend on suspicion of drunken driving.
John Shilts Jr. was arrested around 11 p.m. Sunday by a fellow deputy who spotted him driving south in the wrong lane at a high speed in the town of Richmond. The arresting deputy moved to the shoulder of County Hwy. A to avoid being hit by Shilts before turning around and stopping him a few miles down the road, said St. Croix County Sheriff Scott Knudson.
“I am angered, embarrassed and disappointed at the actions of John Shilts Jr.,” Knudson said. “We must remember that those in law enforcement are human. However, it is also imperative that these same individuals be held to a higher standard of conduct, and when mistakes are made, they are handled accordingly.”
The Wisconsin State Patrol was called in to investigate the incident to eliminate any appearance of conflict of interest or preferential treatment, Knudson said.
Shilts, who has been with the Sheriff’s Office for 7½ years, was booked into the St. Croix County Jail on suspicion of operating a vehicle while intoxicated. He also was charged with speeding in excess of 30 mph over the speed limit, driving to the left of center and not wearing a seat belt, according to state court records.
Shilts, 33, was placed on paid administrative leave and has been assigned a Feb. 2 court date. He is the son of Knudson’s predecessor in the Sheriff’s Office, John Shilts.