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Wisconsin school board member arrested after carrying gun into school • Wisconsin Examiner

A Wisconsin school board member and Dodge County supervisor was arrested on Wednesday after carrying a gun into a school building, according to the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office.

Dan Siegmann, who won his seat on the Herman Neosho Rubicon School Board last month, told the Wisconsin Examiner on Wednesday before the arrest that the incident was an accident. The Dodge County Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post Wednesday night that it was “unacceptable” for an unauthorized gun to be brought into a school building.

Siegmann was attending a scheduled meeting at Honor Elementary School and brought the gun with him having forgotten he was carrying it, he told the Examiner. When he noticed he had the gun with him, he notified District Administrator Chris Nesemann and was then escorted out of the school.

Families were notified about the situation in an email on Wednesday. 

“At no time did the board member pose any kind of threat and the board member agreed to be escorted out of the school,” Nesemann wrote to families, adding that he notified law enforcement about the situation. 

The Dodge County Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post Wednesday night that it received four separate reports including a phone call from the school about the Tuesday incident.

The Dodge County Sheriff’s Office said that the Ozaukee County Sheriff’s Office was requested to assist with the investigation into the incident because Siegmann has been “highly critical of sheriff’s office operations” as a county board member. 

“It was determined that the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office should not conduct this investigation, but rather an outside agency should conduct the investigation and make appropriate decisions after the investigation to avoid the appearance of bias,” the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office stated. 

As a result of the Ozaukee County investigation, Siegmann was placed under arrest on Wednesday prior to a school board meeting and taken to Dodge County Jail. According to the post, charges will be requested for possession of a firearm in a school.  

Under state law, any person who “knowingly possesses a firearm at a place that the individual knows, or has reasonable cause to believe, is in or on the grounds of a school is guilty of a Class I felony.” 

“As always, all persons are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law,” the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office said. 

Siegmann told the Wisconsin Examiner Wednesday afternoon before the arrest that the incident was an accident. He said he typically carries his gun, which he said he has legally carried for over 25 years, when he works on his farm. He said forgot he had it with him when he went to the school because he didn’t change out of his work clothes. 

“I was oblivious to it. I was just so used to carrying it. I didn’t even knowingly do it,” Siegmann said. He said he didn’t want to hide the fact that he had the gun, which is why he told the district administrator when he realized. 

In reaction to the incident and before the arrest, Siegmann voluntarily resigned his position from the school board. He was elected to the Herman Neosho Rubicon board in April after running a write-in campaign that he launched because of his passionate opposition to a school referendum request, which failed. 

Siegmann said he resigned because he thought it would “look best” if he did so and because he wanted to try to de-escalate tensions within the community, which has been sharply divided over the referendum.

“Let’s just let it go. It’s not worth it,” Siegmann said. “I’m not saying it was right but it wasn’t intentional. There was zero intent to do this.” 

The Dodge County Sheriff’s Office said it was releasing the information about the incident because there was “a great deal of concern and frustration in the community over this incident.” 

“It is important that all remember that the safety of our schools is of paramount importance, and while the right to carry a firearm is a constitutional right afforded by our constitution, it comes with great responsibility,” the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office stated. “That responsibility is knowing where it is, and is not, appropriate to carry a firearm. That responsibility is even more paramount when you are an elected official.” 

“Carrying a firearm in a school without the proper authority to do so in light of the school shootings that occur in our country is unacceptable,” the sheriff’s office added.

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originally published at https%3A%2F%2Fwisconsinexaminer.com%2F2024%2F05%2F16%2Fwisconsin-school-board-member-arrested-after-carrying-gun-into-school%2F by Baylor Spears

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