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Monday, May 20, 2024
Courtesy of UW-Madison

Courtesy of UW-Madison

Former UW-Madison police chief violated parking policies, engaged in sexual relations with subordinate

An investigatory report by the UW-Madison Office of Human Resources-Workforce Relations (OHR-WR) found the former police Chief Kristen Roman is responsible for several policy infractions.

A parking investigation into former University of Wisconsin-Madison police Chief Kristen Roman revealed that she conducted secret romantic and sexual workplace liaisons with her employees.

Roman, who stepped down in February, was initially investigated in November for workplace misconduct after a complaint was received by then-Assistant Chief Brent Plisch. The complaint alleged that Roman was misusing a squad vehicle and had not paid for parking or personal mileage.

Interviews conducted by OHR-WR during the investigation revealed speculation toward Roman’s excessive meetings with an unnamed female employee, who UW-Madison Police Department (UWPD) captains alleged as having received preferential treatment. Another interviewee said Roman requested for the subordinate to receive a pay raise in October 2023 during the subordinate’s probationary period.

Further investigations following Roman’s resignation led to the discovery of a handwritten romantic note from the subordinate and Microsoft Teams messages indicating the relationship’s intimate nature.

Kristen Roman Report 2
Courtesy of UW-Madison Office of Human Resources-Workforce Relations

Kristen Roman report 1
Courtesy of UW-Madison Office of Human Resources-Workforce Relations

While Roman admitted to entering a consensual relationship with the female employee between the end of December 2023 and the beginning of January 2024, she failed to report the relationship until Jan. 24. She also failed to report a separate sexual encounter with a male UWPD employee before he began working for the department.

UW-Madison’s Consensual Relationships policy mandates employees immediately report any consensual relations with subordinates to their department chair, with consequences for noncompliance.

In response to investigatory records requests, Roman said that she took responsibility for her UW policy infractions and she “hope[s] that [her] legacy is not defined by them.”

“It has truly been an honor to have served my community and my alma mater for the past 34 years, and I’m humbled to have done so alongside so many dedicated men and women,” Roman said. “I will carry all the successes and lessons learned with me as I move forward into the next leg of my journey.”

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