New Southgate police chief pleaded no contest to assault charges after punching woman in 2004

Posted at 11:26 PM, Aug 17, 2016

The city of Southgate is getting a new police chief and the job is going to a long-time officer with a controversial past.

City Council approved the appointment of Brian Klonowski as the downriver city's top cop last night.

Klonowski, 44, a 21-year veteran of the department, was arrested and charged with assault in 2004 after punching a woman in the face three times during a house party in Romulus. She had turned down his advances that night.

Klonowski was off duty at the time. He pleaded no contest to the charges. He was suspended but eventually was re-instated. He has been promoted three times since 2011.

"I do understand the concerns of the past," Klonowski said following the meeting and his unanimous appointment by council members.

"I dealt with that on three levels, criminally, civilly and departmentally and attempted to put that behind me and attempted to increase my professionalism and just move forward and growing as a person and a professional," said Klonowski.

John Zech, Southgate's city administrator said Klonowski was the right man for the job after testing out as tops among candidates within the department.

"Had there been any problem along the way, we wouldn't be having this conversation," Zech told 7 Action News. He said Klonowski has his full confidence and that of Mayor Joseph Kuspa.

Klonowski's appointment takes effect August 27th. He will be paid $92,105.98 in his new position.