Member Christopher Hale has been accused by two female club employees of “inappropriate conduct.” Hale was arrested last week on accusations of assaulting a beer cart attendant but has not been charged, and a second employee has come forward, saying she was “inappropriately touched” by Hale last year.
Milwaukee attorney Christopher Hale has been booted out of the River Club of Mequon (Wis.) after a second employee told club officials she had been “inappropriately touched” by Hale last year, the Milwaukee-based Journal Sentinel reported.
“Many of you know this member and he has been an active member for many years,” the club wrote in an email to its approximately 440 members over the weekend. “That said, the Club simply cannot tolerate such conduct, Member or otherwise.”
The email did not name Hale, instead referring to him as the same member who earlier was being investigated by the club for “inappropriate conduct,” the Journal Sentinel reported.
Hale, 59, was arrested a week ago on accusations that he assaulted a 20-year-old female beer cart attendant while playing the 8th hole at the course August 16. The woman told Mequon police that Hale grabbed her breasts and forced his hand down her pants, the Journal Sentinel reported.
Hale is free on $10,000 bail. He has not been charged. Hale’s attorney, Michael Hart, did not return calls for comment Monday, though in the past he has called the allegations “spurious,” the Journal Sentinel reported.
Instead of calling the police, club officials investigated the August 16 incident in-house and—in a proposal prepared by Hale—offered to pay her $500 to reimburse her for lost wages in the days after the assault. The settlement offer called for Hale to be fined $500. The offer noted that Hale denied liability but “expressed deep remorse for the incident,” the Journal Sentinel reported.
Hale is a friend of club owner Tom Weickardt and has done legal work for Weickardt involving the club. Last week, Weickardt said he would not revoke his friend’s membership, the Journal Sentinel reported.
The club’s weekend email states that: “We recognize that sometimes things happen we do not anticipate. Nothing about this member ever caused the Club to suspect potential for this sort of conduct.”
Ronald Stadler, the club’s attorney, declined to provide details about the 2014 incident Monday except to say the employee, who was in her late 20s and still works at the River Club, told club officials about the incident Friday night. Like the woman in the August 16 incident, the woman has worked in several jobs at the club, including beer cart attendant and server, the Journal Sentinel reported.
Kevin Demet, attorney for the woman who said she was assaulted August 16, said that from the get-go his client expected that Hale would lose his membership, the Journal Sentinel reported.
“I don’t know why they waited so long,” Demet said.
The club’s email said that after learning of the 2014 incident, “we immediately reached out to the Mequon Police Department to advise them of this update as well.”
Mequon Police Capt. Dan Buntrock said Monday that no complaint has been filed with the department. Stadler said that on Friday evening, club officials left a voice-mail message with the Mequon police detective investigating the August 16 incident. The message said the club had “additional information” and asked the detective to return the call, Stadler said.
The detective is off for the holiday weekend, Buntrock said, adding that other officers are now trying to follow up on the club’s email to members. The club’s “Sexual Abuse and Molestation Prevention Policy” that employees sign does not mention contacting law enforcement when abuse is reported. Instead, it says club officials should contact “the local or state Adult Protective Services Agency,” the Journal Sentinel reported.
Stadler said the policy was likely recommended to club officials as “a well-intended policy…(but) probably (is) not the best policy in the world,” the Journal Sentinel reported.
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