Avatar
All Posts by Empower Wisconsin

Rhinelander City Hall raided in corruption probe

 

Empower Wisconsin | Nov. 23, 2019

By M.D. Kittle 

MADISON — Law enforcement officials executed two search warrants at Rhinelander City Hall Thursday morning in a rare raid in the name of Wisconsin’s open records law.

Rhinelander City Administrator Daniel Guild is named as a person of interest in the warrants, obtained by Empower Wisconsin, in an investigation into tampering with public records and misconduct in office. 

A city employee told Empower Wisconsin that the city building was closed for part of Thursday morning as the Oneida County Sheriff’s Department and other law enforcement agents seized records. City leaders could not be reached for comment.

Guild is alleged to have “engaged in various acts including failure to release public records in response to a request by the media and law enforcement.” The city administrator also is accused of “altering email content to present it as the original,” according to the warrants filed Friday afternoon in Oneida County Court. 

Guild is also accused of asking City Attorney Carrie Miljevich to lie to a reporter and say that the city council did not violate open meetings law. She refused to so so. Guild said it was her job to “protect the city,” according to the warrants. 

In April, the council in closed-session narrowly voted to fire the city attorney, an act Miljevich said was done in retaliation because she stood up to Guild and Rhinelander Mayor Chris Frederickson. 

Law enforcement officials are also looking into emails between Guild and Jerry Deschane, executive director of the League of Wisconsin Municipalities, and his deputy, Curt Wityniski as well as other League staff members. Guild, according to documents, sought advice from the League on how he could get rid of Rhinelander City Council President George Kirby. 

In January, Kirby incurred the wrath of the city administrator, mayor and other council members when he questioned a $13,000 purchase Guild made for office furnishings, the warrants show. 

That’s when Northwoods River News reporter Jamie Taylor sought information through an open records request. The reporter received an email in the request that appeared altered from the original. 

The media outlet filed a complaint and law enforcement officials began investigating Guild in March, according to the search warrants. In June, they asked the Oneida County District Attorney’s office to charge Guild with tampering with public records. Instead, the DA brought in a special prosecutor. Earlier this week, a few days before the raid, the DA sent Guild a letter saying he would not be charged. 

In another case, Guild is accused of hiding the personnel records of the city’s former public works director, who was fired. Guild publicly admitted that there had been documents missing from the personnel file. 

Guild, in a Nov. 11 email to Deshane and the League of Municipalities attorney, notes city officials have “struggled to form” the type of relationships “necessary for good government these past years.” He said there remain “many frayed relationships on the Council.” 

Listen to more:

Explore More
Evers shows DWD chief the door

Evers shows DWD chief the door

Empower Wisconsin | Sept 18, 2020 By M.D. Kittle MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers’ Department of Workforce Development secretary Caleb…

Read More »

September 18, 2020
Evers no help for Kenosha’s riot-ravaged nerves

Evers no help for Kenosha’s riot-ravaged nerves

It’s an unsettling, but not uncommon, feeling in Kenosha these days. Nearly a month after protests over an officer-involved shooting of a black man turned into a violent free-for-all, there is a lingering sense of unease. 

Read More »

September 18, 2020
Biden’s greatest ‘gaffes’ 

Biden’s greatest ‘gaffes’ 

What would the Democratic Party’s presidential candidate be without his gaffes? Perhaps president of the United States.

Read More »

September 18, 2020
The news as we knew it is dead

The news as we knew it is dead

In 2017, the liberal Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard University found that 93 percent of CNN’s coverage of the Trump administration was negative.

Read More »

September 18, 2020
All Woke Up: Milwaukee’s micro-insulted health chief

All Woke Up: Milwaukee’s micro-insulted health chief

Be gone, Jeanette Kowalik, before we macroinsult your insufferable snowflakeness.  

Read More »

September 17, 2020
More vandalism, intimidation celebrated as ’social justice’

More vandalism, intimidation celebrated as ’social justice’

A Black Lives Matter group billing itself as Black Umbrella took to the streets Wednesday, particularly busted-up State Street, for a Paint the Streets rally. 

Read More »

September 17, 2020

2 thoughts on “Rhinelander City Hall raided in corruption probe

  • So nice to get some news from the other part of Wisconsin. Thanks for keeping us informed here in St. Croix County… 18 miles from St. Paul, Minnesota~~~~
    We really miss Governor Walker!!!

  • It’s amazing how Scott Walker was treated like our President Trump is now, but Evers slinks around and does everything to screw over Wisconsin and the news media is all in in with him. Keep up the great work so we can know what’s going on in our state. I have a feeling there’s going to be lots of corruption in our elections

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *