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Local

Part-time Polo police officer charged with felony restraint

Wade Winekauf
Wade Winekauf

GRAND DETOUR – A part-time Polo police officer who also is a LaSalle County school superintendent is charged with unlawful restraint, a felony, and two counts of misdemeanor domestic battery after an incident Nov. 27.

The Ogle County Sheriff’s Department arrested Wade Winekauf, 56, at his home in rural Grand Detour around 4:45 p.m. that day. He posted $2,000 of his $20,000 bond shortly thereafter.

After an investigation, Ogle County State’s Attorney Eric Morrow filed official charges Tuesday.

Unlawful restraint is punishable by 1 to 3 years in prison. His next court hearing is Jan. 27; Paul Whitcombe of Dixon is his attorney.

Winekauf is one of 11 part-time police officers, and works only occasionally, Polo Police Chief Dennis Christen has said. Because the terms of his release prevent him from possessing firearms, Winekauf cannot serve on the force at this time, Christen said, adding that the department confiscated his guns.

Winekauf also is superintendent of the Earlville School District in northern LaSalle County, and a former Polo High School teacher and football coach.

He is working from his home, with pay.

The district is conducting “its own investigation of the facts and circumstances,” and “the superintendent will not be at school pending the completion of our in-depth investigation,” school board President Roger Torman said in a statement Dec. 3.

As of Saturday, he still was working from his home, Torman said in an email.

According to published reports, Winekauf is set to retire from the district in June 2018. He has been superintendent for 4 years, and was an Earlville high school and grade school principal after leaving Polo High.  

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