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Catching Up: Fitchburg police obtain DNA from former Democratic leader in overdose death

Catching Up: Fitchburg police obtain DNA from former Democratic leader in overdose death

Fitchburg police have obtained the DNA of a former state Democratic Party leader as part of a five-month-old investigation into the death of a woman who died of a drug overdose in his home.

Police filed a search warrant in October for the home and vehicle of former Democratic Party of Wisconsin executive director Jason Sidener on suspicion that it could turn up evidence of first-degree reckless homicide.

On Wednesday police filed a search warrant for Sidener’s DNA, which he provided on Thursday, Fitchburg Police Lt. Don Bomkamp said.

“We’re just trying to corroborate people’s stories with the information we’re collecting,” Bomkamp said.

According to police, Monique E. Allen, 30, of Madison, overdosed on a combination of heroin, cocaine and various forms of fentanyl early on Sept. 12 after staying overnight at Sidener’s house on Bantry Lane in Fitchburg. Sidener took her to the hospital, but she was dead upon arrival.

Bomkamp described the case as still being a death investigation. Whether it becomes a homicide investigation will turn on whether police can determine who provided Allen with the drugs, he said.

Under Wisconsin law, the supplier of a drug that results in an overdose death can be charged with a felony punishable by up to 40 years of prison and extended supervision.

Sidener has not been charged with a crime. His lawyer didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Bomkamp said Sidener has not been fully cooperative with investigators.

“I don’t think cooperative is the right word,” Bomkamp said. “He’s not talking to us.”

Investigators have been waiting for a private company to conclude a forensic investigation of Sidener’s cellphone, including his emails and text messages, Bomkamp said. They are also now waiting for an analysis of Sidener’s DNA by the State Crime Lab.

According to an inventory filed with the search warrant, police searching Sidener’s home and car found drugs including crack cocaine, and drug paraphernalia including pipes, digital scales, baggie corners and needles. Police also seized computers, several cellphones and a notebook and ledger with names and dollar amounts.

The Democratic Party hired Sidener in December 2016 as executive director. He took a leave of absence in early August, returned briefly in mid-September and left the job on Sept. 14, according to a party spokeswoman, “citing that it would be the best thing for his health and that ‘the road to full recovery would be longer than expected.’ ”

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