Newspapers Pursue Lawsuit Against Rhinelander Council Members, Mayor

Aug 1, 2019

Credit Mdesigns

The Lakeland Times and Northwoods River News have filed an open meetings complaint concerning an alleged walking quorum by Rhinelander officials.

At issue is a letter signed by four city council members and Mayor Chris Frederickson who wrote to council president George Kirby about stepping down from that function after a dispute. Kirby refused to sit in on a meeting he felt was taking illegal action. The letter to Kirby followed that meeting.

State law prohibits a majority of officials to meet without proper public notice. District Attorney Michael Schiek admitted to the newspapers that it was a 'close call', but decided not to prosecute. Newspaper General Manager Gregg Walker reported the alleged efforts by the council members, including emails and other communications, amounted to a public meeting that was not properly noticed.

The complaint was filed in Oneida County Circuit Court.