MADISON (WKOW) -- A Dane County sheriff's deputy has been placed in a deferred prosecution program, with no criminal charge lodged against him, despite Madison police officials recommending a felony, child abuse charge.
Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne says deputy Steve McCollum was an appropriate candidate for deferred prosecution. Online court records indicate McCollum has no criminal history.
In most cases of deferred prosecution, a criminal charge is lodged and remains pending until the person charged successfully completes the program. In cases where no charge is lodged, it is up to the district attorney's discretion to lodge a charge, if the program participant fails to comply with the terms of the deferred prosecution.
Ozanne tells 27 News the accusation of child abuse against McCollum involves the spanking of a boy.
Madison Police Captain Cam McLay tells 27 News police officials referred the results of their investigation into McCollum to Ozanne with a recommendation of a felony child abuse charge. McCollum's actions took place in the Sheriff's jurisdiction, but McLay says Madison police officers investigated at the request of the Sheriff.
Ozanne says consideration is given to referring a criminal allegation against a local law enforcement officer to another district attorney's officer. But Ozanne says if the officer has not had direct contact with him or his assistants in the course of his duties, he retains jurisdiction at times.
Sheriff's officials say McCollum was hired in 2008 and is assigned to the Dane County jail.
Sheriff's spokesperson Elise Schaffer says McCollum has been on paid, administrative leave since December 2012, as the criminal investigation took place.
Dane County administrator Travis Myren says McCollum's annual base pay is $65,000. Myren has yet to provide the value of McCollum's pay and benefits during his leave.