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SPD officer whose use of force is under review returns to work

A Superior Police officer whose use of force during a January arrest remains under review has returned to work. Officer George Gothner, who has been on paid administrative leave since late January, returned to a duty status with the department Wednesday, according to a release by Superior Police Chief Charles LaGesse.

“He will be working in an administrative duty assignment in our offices,” LaGesse wrote in the release. “He will not return to patrol duty, pending the decision of the assigned special prosecutor. The Department respects the ongoing process being utilized by the special prosecutor, Bayfield County District Attorney Frederick Bourg.

“The belief of the Superior Police Department was that a decision would be made by the assigned special prosecutor relatively quickly,” LaGesse said. “With a John Doe hearing now set for Oct. 3, the department has made the decision that the extended administrative leave status was not in the interest of the mission of the department.” He said Gothner will be working on response plans to critical incidents.