City Administrator Provides Update on Mayor McManus Hearing

More Information on Mayor McManus Hearing Expected Later This Week

OnFocus – On Monday, Steve Barg released the complaint filed on January 28th by a Marshfield resident taxpayer.

In the letter addressed to Marshfield Common Council President Tom Witzel, the resident stated:

“It is my belief Mayor McManus, to avoid fully responding to an Open Records request, destroyed electronic records located on his electronic devices. When questioned about his response to the Open Records request he lied to the Marshfield City Administrator about it and lied to Marshfield City Attorney about the same issues. Later, he attempted to lay blame for the missing records on a staff member in the city’s IT Department.”

“It is clear to me Mayor McManus violated state statutes concerning Open Records, violated ethical standards of the City of Marshfield and violated the oath he took upon ascending to the office of mayor. Under the authority given to the Marshfield Common Council in Chapter 17 of Wisconsin Statutes I ask the Council to remove Bob McManus form the office of Mayor.

At tonight’s Finance, Budget, and Personnel meeting, City Administrator Steve Barg provided an update on the progress of scheduling a hearing regarding the complaint made against Mayor Bob McManus.

Chairman Ed Wagner requested an update on the progress of completing the items addressed in those motions, including the hearing required.

On February 5, the Council approved five motions related to this subject:

  1. Motion to require Andy Keogh to deliver a bond in the amount of $1,000 pursuant to Wis. Stats. § 17.16(4) in a form acceptable by the City Attorney conditioned for payment of actual costs incurred by the City arising out of the hearing or investigation of the charges he has preferred to be heard by the Council.
    Update: Bond was paid last Wednesday.
  2. Motion to Authorize the President of-the Council to work with the City Administrator to secure special legal counsel for the purpose of providing legal services to the Common Council in the investigation and hearing of the Complaint filed seeking removal of the Mayor and authorize the execution of agreement related to such services.
    Update: A letter of engagement was sent and qualified attorney (Jim Kalny with the firm Davis & Kuelthau) was secured.
  3. Motion to Authorize the President of the Council to coordinate the scheduling of a
    hearing on the Complaint filed seeking removal of the Mayor.
    Update: Expected to happen “soon”.
  4. Motion to Authorize the President of the Council to coordinate the service of the
    Complaint and notice of hearing on the Mayor.
    Update: Will follow #3 being completed.
  5. Motion to authorize issuance of subpoenas.
    Update: Will follow #3 being completed. 

“I was amazed that we could get somebody like that on such short notice,” said Barg of Kalny being available, noting that his background is extensive in this area. “We want to get this expedited, fairly.”

Alderman Peter Hendler requested security be present during the hearings, including having officers from Wood County Sheriff’s Department present.

On December 8th Wood Country DA Craig Lambert sent a letter to McManus’s counsel. The letter from Lambert to McManus’s counsel stated: “This letter does not necessarily exonerate your client.” In closing, DA Lambert acknowledged that the complainant may seek enforcement through the office [of the] Wisconsin Attorney General and will be advised of such.”

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News Desk
Author: News Desk

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