todd hermann
Todd Hermann

Todd Hermann, the deputy inspector of the Manitowoc County Sheriff’s Department – third in command of the entire agency – has left the county by taking an early retirement. He recently turned 50.

The Cleveland, Wis. native is the younger brother of three-term Manitowoc County Sheriff Rob Hermann, who was elected by the voters in 2006 in a race against Deputy Andy Colborn.

After his brother took office, Todd Hermann was promoted from one of the lieutenant positions to third in command. From 2007 through 2016, Todd Hermann was in charge of the traffic patrol division and the detective bureau for Manitowoc County.

The county tells me that April 3 was considered Todd Hermann’s last official day of employment. Todd Hermann made a salary of $82,500, plus fringe benefits.

As a lieutenant, Todd Hermann had an instrumental role investigating the Halloween 2005 disappearance of photographer Teresa Halbach. Todd Hermann oversaw the command center post set up during the course of several days, Nov. 5-12, 2005. Todd Hermann, Detective David Remiker and Sgt. Jason Orth were the first three Manitowoc sheriff’s deputies who entered Avery Salvage Yard on Saturday morning, Nov. 5, 2005, shortly after volunteer searcher Pam Sturm called Calumet County to report she had found Halbach’s Toyota RAV4 on the back perimeter of the Avery Salvage Yard.

Todd Hermann was one of the prosecution witnesses utilized by special prosecutor Ken Kratz during the 2007 murder trial against Steven Avery. His boss, Inspector Gregg Schetter, gave Hermann a special recognition letter praising him for exemplary work on the Steven Avery murder case.

Jason Orth
Jason Orth

Last September, Todd Hermann declined to comment when I reached him and asked him several questions prior to publication of my three-day-long investigative series that ran across USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin examining the unsolved hit-and-run death of 17-year-old Ricky Hochstetler. The 1999 pedestrian homicide along a county road south of Manitowoc at bar-closing time has involved longstanding suspicions of a Manitowoc sheriff’s department cover-up. Vehicle damage showed that the intoxicated motorist may have been heading toward the village of Cleveland.

As for the new No. 3, Jason Orth has spent most of his career at Manitowoc County in the patrol division, and he also was a member of his agency’s SWAT team. Like Todd Hermann, he also spent time on the witness stand testifying as a prosecution witness for Kratz during the trial against Steven Avery.