Remember Steven Cowan? He's the Wisconsin man who earlier this week took a shotgun to his TV after watching Bristol Palin on dancing with the stars, then pointed the gun at his wife and threatened to commit suicide. That lead to an overnight standoff with police. At the time, not much was known about Cowan. But now, turns out he is an elected official in his hometown.
Cowan, 67, has served as the board supervisor for seat 3 in the rural town of Vermont, located in the same country as the state's capital of Madison. It's a position he's held for a decade.
A statement on the town's website praises Cowan for his service and withholds judgement pending a full investigation.
"Steve Cowan has been a supervisor and dedicated public servant in the Town of Vermont, Dane County for over 10 years," the statement says. "During his time on the Town Board, Steve has provided insightful guidance on a wide variety of town issues and his service has been invaluable."
While the statement recognizes Cowan was involved in the TV-shooting incident, it reminds the public that "Steve is presumed innocent until proven guilty under our legal system."
Cowan is listed as a participant in the town's recent October board meeting, where he proposed vacating two town roads, replacing town historical signs, and called for an alternative, cheaper plan for a town garage addition.
In an e-mail to The Blaze, town Clerk Marc Robertson said that Cowan is neither a Democrat nor Republican. "As with many local elected positions, Supervisor is a nonpartisan office," he wrote.
A phone call to the town's offices, as well as a message left on its answering machine, seeking further comment went unanswered.
It remains unclear, then, if Cowan's rage was politically motivated. It's been reported that at the time of the incident he did yell about "The (expletive) politics," and his wife Janice said he was upset that a political figure's daughter was dancing on TV even though he felt she didn't have talent. The description of Cohen as a "progressive liberal nut," then, cannot be confirmed.
Cowan's actions are nothing new. Janice told officers that about 15 years ago her husband had threatened her with a machete when he couldn't find some ammunition and has threatened to shoot one of their cows. She also said he suffers from bipolar disorder and may have a drinking problem.
A number listed for Cowan on the town board's website connected to a rental property company. A message left on the company's answering machine also went unanswered.
"He scared the bejebees out of me," Janice told detectives. He remains free after posting $1,500 bail, but cannot be near firearms or drink alcohol.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.