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Bloomer police chief retiring

Bloomer police Chief Rick Carr has announced his retirement after it was revealed city legal bills to defend him against six citizen complaints total $38,399.

Bloomer police Chief Rick Carr has announced his retirement after it was revealed city legal bills to defend him against six citizen complaints total $38,399.

Carr, 51, gave his one-month retirement notice to city officials Friday. His final day of work will be March 31.

Carr said his retirement is not related to the complaints filed against him last year. Those complaints -- which included his considering shutting down a graduation party because of alcohol-related concerns and his removal of a student from class to question him about a vandalism incident -- were dismissed by the Bloomer Police Commission in January after three days of hearings. Carr was not disciplined.

"I've been planning (the retirement) for quite a while," Carr said Monday. "This is just a good time. Over the last six months, there have been some lucrative job offers."

Carr broke his ankle a week ago and said that was a factor in his retirement timing. He said he enjoys his work but is ready to try something new.

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"I'm looking forward to it," Carr said. "It's been a long journey."

Commission Chairman Jim Hudacek praised Carr for his work.

"He certainly brought us through a difficult time," Hudacek said Monday. "I really appreciate his efforts."

Chippewa County Sheriff Jim Kowalczyk said Carr dealt with a difficult situation in Bloomer well.

"Rick acted as a professional up there," Kowalczyk said. "He got into a situation when he got there, that there was house cleaning to do, and he did it."

Carr was named interim police chief in March 2007, replacing Chief Mike Bungartz. He was elevated to full-time chief in January 2008.

Carr previously worked for the Barron County Sheriff's Department as a patrol supervisor for 14 years. However, months after he lost a close race for the Barron County sheriff position in November 2006, Carr resigned, and his job there was eliminated.

Copyright (c) 2011, The Leader-Telegram, Eau Claire, Wis./Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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