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Judge Determines Charge Against Guild Can Continue

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A judge has determined the case against former Rhinelander City Administrator Daniel Guild can continue.

Guild is charged with Misconduct in Office-Failure To Perform Known Duty. His arrest in March followed a more than three month investigation by the Oneida County Sheriff's Department. The matter concerns alleged open records violations.

Price County Judge Kevin Klein set out the case, with the prosecution saying Guild failed in his role as custodian of public records to turn files over in a timely manner. The defense replied that the administrator has broad discretion in determining when records are released and asked the case be dismissed.

Judge Klein disagreed with the defense assessment....

"Initial parts or duties may be discretionary. Once past those discretionary steps, there is a mandatory duty. If this was not the logic to be employed, then everything could always have a discretionary component..."

Judge Klein said he was not trying to determine guilt or innocence, rather whether there was enough evidence in the case to bring it to court for more proceedings. He denied the defense motion to dismiss, saying the case was 'minimally sufficient' to continue.

He ordered the attorneys to work out a date for a preliminary hearing. At that hearing, the judge will also determine whether there is sufficient evidence to continue the case.

Guild's contract with the city was terminated with pay in May. The City of Rhinelander is in the process of finding a new administrator. The council has hired former Wisconsin Rapids mayor Zach Vruwink to do administrative duties in the interim.

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