Newspapers Pursue Lawsuit Against Rhinelander Council Members, Mayor

Aug 1, 2019

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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.