ICYMI: Tim Michels has Dialed Up Local Police Over Litter, Runaway Dogs, Sleeping Wife and a Boat Mishap

Oct 19, 2022

ICYMI: Tim Michels has Dialed Up Local Police Over Litter, Runaway Dogs, Sleeping Wife and a Boat Mishap

“Tim Michels sometimes seems to treat the Village of Chenequa Police Department as if it were his own.”

MADISON, Wis. — Tim Michels has called the police to his home more than a dozen times for everything from his wife taking a nap to his boat being towed away for repairs before the next regatta.

Read more below.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Bice: Tim Michels has dialed up local police over litter, runaway dogs, sleeping wife and a boat mishap

Tim Michels sometimes seems to treat the Village of Chenequa Police Department as if it were his own.

Consider a couple of examples:

In February 2018, Michels, a construction executive running for governor, couldn’t reach his wife at their Waukesha County lake country home on State Highway 83 for three hours, so he called the local cops to do a wellness check on her. Barbara Michels, it turns out, was napping.

“Everything was in order,” states the police report.

Or the time in 2016 that Michels — a Republican running against Democratic Gov. Tony Evers next month — was hitting golf balls at his multimillion-dollar Chenequa home when he spotted an SUV tow away his 16-foot Zodiac boat from the driveway. Michels copied down the plate number of the SUV and called the local police department.

One cop interviewed Michels while another was dispatched to chase down the owner of the SUV, who confessed that he had taken the boat. He said he had dropped off the Zodiac at his shop in Hartland, where he had planned to make some repairs before an upcoming regatta. The whole deal had been worked out with Michels’ wife, who was in London.

“It was confirmed that there had been some miscommunication or lack of communication between all the parties involved,” the police report concluded.

The two incidents were among more than a dozen times that the Chenequa police responded to calls or alarms involving Michels or his family over the past 20 years.

Michels’ campaign dismissed questions about the police calls. Here is his campaign manager, Patrick McNulty:

“The Democrats and the press want to make a big deal about the times when police were dispatched to Tim’s home in the last 20 years, yet they choose to ignore Evers’ callous four-year parole spree that has unleashed hundreds of convicted murderers and rapists into neighborhoods all across Wisconsin.”

A spokeswoman for Evers declined to comment.

Records show that Michels was contacting the police about a variety of issues. Their Chenequa house, which is nearly 3,000 square feet of space, is assessed at about $5 million. Michels and his wife also bought a $17 million estate in Greenwich, Connecticut, in 2020.

Tim Michels’ dogs listed in several police complaints

On five occasions between 2009 and 2021, Michels or his wife called the police or the police called them about their apparently hard-to-manage golden retrievers.

In 2009, Michels reported to cops that his puppy had fallen through the ice, but soon followed up to say the pooch has been recovered and “was warming up in the house.”

Two years later, the co-owner of the Brownsville-based Michels Construction was contacted by police when his two golden retrievers, Jack Bauer and Huck, were found along Highway 83. Michels had the housekeeper pick them up. The family was encouraged by the police to get updated tags for the dogs.

A neighbor complained that one of the Michels’ dogs had run away and ended up in that person’s house in July 2013 for the second time in two days. Police warned Barbara Michels that “she will receive a citation if we get another dog-at-large complaint.”

In 2019, Michels called the Chenequa police to say his golden retriever named Jack had been missing for two hours. There was no follow-up report. Last December, another dog-at-large — or, in this case, dogs-at-large — complaint was filed. A neighbor reported both of the Michels’ dogs had shown up at her house down the road.

“Mrs. Michels was out looking for dogs,” the Dec. 2, 2021, police report says. “Returned same.”

Chenequa police were also repeatedly contacted because the burglary alarm at the Michels’ house went off.

In the past decade, it went off eight times — four times in 2016 alone — and in each instance, it was a false alarm, set off in various instances by Michels, his father-in-law, a worker and the caretaker of the house.

“Arrived and spoke with Tim Michels, who accidentally set off the alarm arriving home,” an officer wrote on a Jan. 26, 2021, report. “All is well.”

Finally, Michels contacted the Chenequa Police Department twice over two littering incidents at his house.

In September 2004, Michels reported that someone had scattered free buyers guides on the lawn, the fourth such time this had happened in recent weeks. The guides were for “Home and Land,” “Auto Mart,” “Auto Sell” and “Harmony Homes.”

Michels told the cops that he thought the son of a local car dealer was behind the littering sprees. At the time, Michels was running for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate, and he noted the local car dealer was backing Russ Darrow, who owns numerous car dealerships around the state.

Additional patrols were dispatched to Michels’ house. Michels, incidentally, defeated Darrow in the GOP primary but lost to then-U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold, a Democrat.

Months later, Michels contacted the police to report another littering incident after more than 100 Shepherd Express newspapers were strewn about his yard. Over the next several months, the officers met with Michels to discuss updates in the case. The culprits were eventually identified as some local high school students who dumped the papers on Michels’ lawn possibly because of his “social status.”

Michels met with the students and their parents in July 2005.

“Michels informed me that he had voiced his concerns to the individuals as well as their parents, and that he was satisfied that he had gotten his message across,” wrote the Chenequa detective.

The police report ended: “Therefore, based on the complainant’s request, the report will serve as a report for record only and no additional follow-up investigation is necessary.”