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Charge dismissed against supervisor; DA says disorderly conduct complaint was warning

During a brief hearing Tuesday, a disorderly conduct charge against a Pierce County Board member who used obscenities during a UW-River Falls student meeting was dismissed.

Calling the charge a "warning shot," Pierce County District Attorney John O'Boyle asked Judge Robert Wing to dismiss the forfeiture complaint against Ben Plunkett, 36, 709 Bartosh Ln., River Falls.

Until the day before the hearing, the case had been set to go to trial before a six-person jury. If Plunkett had been found guilty of disorderly conduct on University of Wisconsin lands, he would have been fined $280.

The charges stem from a March 30 Student Senate Ethics Committee meeting.

O'Boyle, who interviewed witnesses, said five people were in the room when Plunkett directed "pretty graphic" obscenities at two male students.

While Plunkett's language was clearly inappropriate, it didn't provoke a hostile confrontation, said O'Boyle. A student called campus security officers and Plunkett left the meeting.

For more please read the Aug. 12 print version of the Herald.