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Kirby Denies He Has Key Investigative File, Second Investigation Reported Into Utility


Rhinelander city council president George Kirby says he does not have the files that are apparently a key part of an ongoing investigation by law enforcement into activities in city hall.

November 21, law enforcement agencies locked city hall and seized files and computers concerning questions about public records.

In an unrelated development, The Northwoods River News is reporting Rhinelander Police are investigating alleged discrepancies in billing and payments at the city's wastewater utility.

Media outlets recently released an audio file made in closed session. A key to the ongoing investigation at city hall made by law enforcement are personnel files relating to former Public Works Director Tim Kingman, fired last year.

The recording indicates that Kirby has the file, something he says is not the case...

"...I have never had the Tim Kingman file. For a brief period of time, when we had no city administrator, I was on a committee that reviewed any complaints filed against Tim Kingman. As part of that, I had a copy of that complaint for committee discussion. There are only two records of the Tim Kingman file that I had, and those were copies..."

Kirby says those copies with his notes were turned over to the Oneida County Sheriff's Department in October. He also questioned what is alleged to be a secret recording of a September closed session meeting where the Kingman files were discussed. He says what has been attributed to him on social media is not accurate...

"That is a misrepresentation of what I said. Although this meeting was in closed session, no official recording of that meeting was ever made. Someone present at that meeting made a secret recording and leaked it to the media..."

The Northwoods River News reports other members of the council have said that Kirby had the file, which he denies.

The Northwoods River News says Rhinelander Police have been looking into possible billing irregularities at the wastewater utility. They quoted Police Chief Lloyd Gauthier as saying they've been investigating what a hauler brought into the plant as opposed to what that person was paid. That investigation is ongoing.