Allegations of Criminal Activity Filed against Bob McManus
Marshfield (OnFocus) – Bob McManus was elected Mayor for the City of Marshfield in 2018. During his campaign, McManus ran on the key talking points of improving city communication, the need for increased staffing at Marshfield Fire and Rescue, the importance of road improvements, and fairness with the implementation of the job function test.
Through an open records request in 2018, OnFocus learned that McManus was using a private email to conduct city business, as he worked to develop a job description with Tom Loucks prior to him submitting his application for the Communications Director position that was later posted. At the time, the IT Director for the city acknowledged that Mayor McManus was updated on the city’s technology use policy and understood that all communications through personal technologies were subject to open records. The Mayor is issued a city phone for business use.
In March of 2020, Rhinelander city administrator, Dan Guild, was charged with felony charges related to hiding documents that were part of an open records request through a local newspaper.
In April of 2020, an open records request was sent to the City of Marshfield, requesting documents relating to the Mayor’s involvement with fire and EMS personnel staffing, negotiations between the City of Marshfield and Marshfield Medical Center, and a dispute between the City of Marshfield and the police union.
Mayor McManus claimed that he did not have text messages or facebook messages that related to these requests and acknowledged that he does very little with his phone(s).
Through records obtained as part of the request, the records indicate that Mayor MaManus has had over 60 interactions relating to the above matters with individuals connected to the activities.
As of Thursday afternoon, a citizen has filed a criminal complaint with the City of Marshfield. The City of Marshfield confirmed it will be referred to an outside agency to conduct an investigation on Mayor McManus and widen the search for documents for which McManus may have not been forthcoming. No formal charges have been brought forward at this time.
Steve Barg, City Administrator, acknowledged the the complaint, however, stated, “No, I cannot” when asked if he could comment on the complaint.
Bob McManus told OnFocus, “No Comment” when asked about the criminal complaint.
No action has been taken by the Common Council or the city at this time regarding his role as Mayor for the City of Marshfield.