MADISON, Wis. — New reporting has revealed Republican state Senate candidate Dave Estenson was the subject of a Wisconsin Department of Justice Investigation over allegations of sexual misconduct and abuse of power while he was working as a police officer for the City of Osseo and Village of Strum.
According to DOJ records, Estenson allegedly pressured women for sexual favors to avoid receiving citations, blackmailed a woman into keeping their relationship a secret, and assaulted another woman during a party. Estenson resigned following the DOJ investigation and pursued a law enforcement career in Minnesota – only to resign again after a “performance audit” in 2012.
The revelations of Estenson’s sexual misconduct and abuse of power follow a pattern of similar disturbing behavior by other Republican candidates. Congressional candidate Derrick Van Orden – a self-described “great friend” of Estenson – bragged about sexually harassing junior female officers during his military service, and Republican candidate for governor Tim Michels came under fire this week following reports of sexual harassment and racial discrimination at Michels Corporation that occurred under his watch.
“We’ve said it before, and unfortunately we have to say it again: culture starts at the top. The people of Western Wisconsin deserve better than Dave Estenson’s “leadership” – not that you can call someone with an extensive pattern of sexual misconduct and abuse of power a leader,” said Democratic Party of Wisconsin spokesperson Courtney Beyer. “These disturbing revelations make it clear that Dave Estenson and the other Republicans accused of similar misconduct are unfit to serve the 31st Senate District or represent our state.”