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Former St. John police commander seeking new defense attorney in sex crimes case
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St. John

Former St. John police commander seeking new defense attorney in sex crimes case

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CROWN POINT — A retired St. John police commander is seeking a new defense attorney to represent him on allegations he sexually battered three women and collected fraudulent pay through a ghost payroll scheme. 

Michael Fryzel appeared Thursday in Lake Criminal Court. Thomas Vanes, his defense attorney, told Judge Clarence Murray his client continued to seek a new defense attorney to represent him on multiple counts of sexual battery, official misconduct, theft and battery.

Vanes said Fryzel was in discussions with defense attorney Steven Mullins, but no deal has been made.

Murray scheduled a new hearing for Nov. 9.

Fryzel, 55, of St. John, was accused in May 2016 of repeatedly sexually harassing and groping female co-workers while working at the St. John Police Department, court records state.

One woman said Fryzel smacked her buttocks and commented on her breasts. When she asked another officer if his behavior violated the department's policies, Fryzel allegedly answered, “Those policies don't apply to me. I am a commander so they don't apply,” records state.

Fryzel is accused of poking another woman's breasts and smacking another woman on the buttocks. He allegedly made lewd comments to all three women.

Fryzel also allegedly collected $5,356 in pay between 2011 and 2015 for hours he did not work, court records state.

Gallery: Recent arrests booked into Lake County Jail

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Lake County Courts and Social Justice Reporter

Steve covers Lake County courts and social justice issues for The Times. The UW-Milwaukee graduate joined The Times in 2016 after reporting on criminal justice in New Mexico and Wisconsin.

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