STAMPING GROUND — Stamping Ground Police Chief Roger Nowakowski has been charged with criminal mischief, second degree, — a misdemeanor — for defacing a parked car, according to Scott County court records.

However, law enforcement officials believe the charges could be amended to a felony once the case goes to court, which may threaten his certification as a law enforcement officer, if convicted. The Scott County Attorney’s office recused itself from prosecuting Nowakowski because he is a local law enforcement officer. Josh Smith of Owen County has been appointed special prosecutor. The case has been assigned to Judge Janet Booth of the 13th District Court as the Scott County judges were recused as well.

An arraignment hearing for Nowakowski scheduled for Monday was waived and rescheduled until Oct. 25. John Cornett, Nowakowski’s attorney, declined to comment on the case but said during the Monday Zoom hearing that he hoped to speak with the victims and asked for a continuance.

The charges stem from a video provided to the Georgetown Police Department from an apartment complex where Nowakowski resided. The video taken on Aug. 7 at about 9:53 p.m., shows a car attempting to back into a parking spot multiple times, backing up on the sidewalk and generally struggling to get into place. Eventually, the rearview mirror on the car that is trying to be parked strikes the rearview mirror of the car in the adjacent spot.

At this point the driver — who appears to be drunk, officials say — exits the car and appears to take a key or sharp object and run it down the side of the parked car. The driver then walks to the other side of the car and does the same before lying on the hood of the parked car and running a sharp object across it.

The misdemeanor charge was filed before the cost of damages was known. Since then, cost estimates have been determined at about $2,000, which would possibly make the charge a felony, officials said. He was not charged with DUI because law enforcement did not arrest Nowakowski which was driving a vehicle, police said.

Nowakowski remains employed by the City of Stamping Ground, but is “off the street” pending resolution of the case, city officials said.

An emergency protection order has also been issued in Scott County Family Court against Nowakowski by his wife, Candace Duncan. The couple were married on May 29, 2021, but Duncan has filed for divorce due to “abusive behavior.” The EPO was issued Aug. 25 and charges the police officer with “domestic violence and abuse, dating violence and abuse, stalking and sexual assault.”

“The verbal, mental and minor physical abuse started on the honeymoon and has progressed over time due to Roger’s drunken rages,” states the EPO. The couple separated Aug. 3, according to court records.

The divorce hearing is set for Nov. 17.

 

Mike Scogin can be reached at mscogin@news-graphic.com. 

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