Former Appleton police officer facing criminal charges after allegedly forging court order

Officer lost the original document, forged judge and prosecutor signatures

Police lights flash
Lights on a parked police vehicle flash at a crime scene in Philadelphia. Matt Rourke/AP Photo

A former Appleton police officer is facing criminal charges after he allegedly forged a court order in a drug investigation after losing the original document.

Jeremy Haney, a former sergeant in the department, is charged with forgery and misconduct in office, both felonies, and a misdemeanor for obstructing police. He was charged in Outagamie Circuit Court on Aug. 23.

The Brown County Sheriff’s Office launched an investigation into Haney in June at the request of the district attorney’s and sheriff’s offices in Outagamie County, according to the criminal complaint.

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Former Appleton Police Sgt. Jeremy Haney
Former Appleton Police Sgt. Jeremy Haney resigned from the department last month. He’s facing criminal charges after allegedly forging a court order. Photo courtesy of the Appleton Police Department

The district attorney’s office was prosecuting a large-scale drug case when they found signature irregularities on a GPS court order prepared by Haney that was used to install a tracking device on a suspect’s vehicle. Court documents say court orders typically require signatures by a judge and prosecutor.

“As I reviewed the GPS court order provided to me in discovery, I noticed that the signature on the Application was not mine,” an assistant district attorney told law enforcement, according to the criminal complaint. “It was my name which was signed, but I unequivocally did not sign it and I did not provide anyone else the authority to sign my name on that or any other Court Order.”

Investigators also found the court order included a forged signature for an Outagamie County Circuit Court judge, according to the complaint.

The assistant district attorney told police that the forged court order listed the timeframe for the tracking device to be on the suspect’s vehicle as 90-days, while the court order he completed was for 45 days, court documents say. The alleged forged document also was missing verification from a notary.

When investigators interviewed Haney, he initially denied forging the signatures and said he had no idea how a different warrant was submitted for discovery than the one signed by the judge and prosecutor, according to the complaint.

According to the complaint, investigators asked if he lost the 45-day court order and Haney allegedly replied, “I went to scan that in. I f***ed up. I lost the 45-day. I put my name on it. I didn’t think. I just, I didn’t think about it. I’m like, ‘It doesn’t matter, it was signed.’”

Haney allegedly went on to say he got the 90-day warrant from his original email to the assistant district attorney. He said he knew the time frame was changed but didn’t think about it at the time and he feared the case would fall apart over the warrant, court documents said.

“I should’ve just called (the assistant district attorney) and said, ‘Hey, I lost the warrant, I don ‘t know where the original is,’” Haney allegedly told investigators. “But I just f***ing did it, so I wouldn’t get my a** chewed out anymore.”

The Appleton Police Department said it became aware of the investigation in late June. Haney was placed on administrative leave after the department was briefed by investigators on July 11. He resigned from the department on July 17.

“The Appleton Police Department is committed to upholding the highest standards of integrity and accountability,” the department said in a statement. “Our relationship with the community, and the trust we have worked diligently to develop, remains a steadfast priority. We take all allegations of misconduct seriously and will continue to cooperate fully with the legal process as this case progresses.”

In 2018, Haney received a police star medal. He also served on the Lake Winnebago Metropolitan Enforcement Group.

He is scheduled to make an initial appearance in Outagamie County Circuit Court on Sept. 19.