Local police officer charged with drunk driving

Posted at 6:59 PM, Jan 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-21 11:23:19-05

A Burlington Police officer found himself in trouble. He is charged with OWI and hit and run property damage.

But the I-Team discovered this incident got the police department to investigate a second member of the force.

It was along Highway 11 just west of Spring Prairie in Walworth County on Dec. 16, 2015; a deputy spotted a truck at 4 a.m. without headlights and front end damage. Court records obtained by the I-Team show the driver had just run off the road, hit a mail box and a street sign and kept driving. That driver was Burlington Police officer, Eric Mitchell.

Records show Officer Mitchell was twice the legal limit. He blew .16 according to documents. The officer was off duty at the time.

The chief of police, Mark Anderson, said somehow another lieutenant became aware of the incident but was delayed in reporting the arrest. That lieutenant’s response prompted Burlington Police to investigate both officers.

Anderson tells TODAY'S TMJ4 they placed Mitchell on paid leave as an outside agency investigated. The investigation ended three weeks later on January 9, 2015.

Anderson said Mitchell did in fact violate several policies and procedures back in December, but wouldn't say which ones, calling it a personnel matter.

This is Mitchell's first OWI arrest, which is a misdemeanor.

Court records show Mitchell admitted to having a few drinks. The investigation into the second officer, according to Anderson, showed no department policies were violated.

Mitchell’s attorney appeared in court on his behalf. He’s due back in court in March.