Police Complete Search At Rhinelander City Hall; Warrants Executed In Felony Investigation

Nov 21, 2019

Oneida County sheriff's deputies enter Rhinelander City Hall as part of Thursday's execution of search warrants.
Credit Ben Meyer/WXPR

Note:  This story has been updated to include a comment from Alderwoman Dawn Rog.

Three sheriff’s offices and the Wisconsin Department of Justice locked Rhinelander City Hall on Thursday as they executed two state search warrants.

The investigation is into potential charges of tampering with public records and misconduct in public office, according to Oneida County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Dan Hess.

Both crimes are felonies, and Hess confirmed the investigation focuses on a current city employee.

Rhinelander City Hall, as seen Thursday during the execution of search warrants.
Credit Ben Meyer/WXPR

After serving the warrant at about 9:25 a.m. Thursday, deputies completed their search just after 3:00 p.m.  Captain Tyler Young said city staff were excused except for one employee to help guide officers around the building.

An Oneida County Sheriff's Office squad car leaves Rhinelander City Hall during the investigation.
Credit Ben Meyer/WXPR

Hess said one individual is under investigation, but wouldn’t identify him or her.  He said no arrests have been made yet.

“The investigation initially started with a complaint to our office and we received assistance [from] the Price County Sheriff’s Office,” said Hess.  The Vilas County Sheriff’s Office later joined the effort.  Hess said it's been underway for "several months."  Law enforcement officers from Oneida, Vilas, and Marathon counties, as well as the Wisconsin Department of Justice were on scene on Thursday.

Hess said agents were executing their search warrants for both paper and digital records.

In an email Thursday afternoon, Rhinelander Alderwoman Dawn Rog said she hoped Mayor Chris Frederickson calls an emergency meeting "in the very near future."  No other members of the Common Council responded to a request for comment.

Calls to Frederickson and City Administrator Daniel Guild were not returned.

City workers place holiday decorations outside City Hall as warrants are executed inside on Thursday.
Credit Ben Meyer/WXPR