Rhinelander city administrator is ‘person of interest’ in search warrants
Electronic devices, records, files seized
By Eileen Persike
Rhinelander city administrator Daniel Guild was listed as a “person of interest” in the search warrants executed Thursday at Rhinelander City Hall. The warrants were used to seize records and documentation related to tampering with public records and misconduct in public office. Taken into evidence were paper and electronic files involving former public works director Tim Kingman, emails between city administrator Daniel Guild and several members of the common council and other employees, and Guild’s electronic devices that had access to the city’s server.
City hall was locked down Nov. 21 while Oneida County Sheriff’s Office, the state Department of Justice and other law enforcement agencies conducted the searches. The warrants were returned to the Clerk of Court’s office Friday afternoon, making them available to the general public.
The warrants sought information that pertained to a July 2018 open records request by the Northwoods River News that alleged records tampering.
According to the search warrants, Guild told council members on Sept. 9, 2019 that Kingman’s file had been missing since Guild began his employment in Sept. 2018. Kingman was fired from his position with the city in June of this year. Several city officials, including former city administrator Keith Kost, former city attorney Carrie Miljevich and city clerk Val Foley, were interviewed regarding record keeping policies and handling of personnel files and open records requests.
The second warrant centered on allegations of misconduct in office and an email that Guild was believed to have altered as well as emails between Guild and several council members or those referencing the subject of a walking quorum of open meeting violation.
Oneida County Chief Deputy Dan Hess said the investigation is continuing. No arrests have been made.