Rhinelander city administer in court, formally charged
By Eileen Persike
Rhinelander City Administrator Daniel Guild appeared in Oneida County Circuit Court Tuesday afternoon, via video from the county jail. He was represented by attorney Brian F. Bennett. A signature bond was set for $5,000 and a preliminary hearing scheduled for Monday March 30.
Guild is charged with misconduct in public office, a Class I felony. He was arrested during a traffic stop on Hwy 8 West Monday morning. Two search warrants were executed at Rhinelander City Hall in November, in response to an open records request complaint. The warrants were issued for tampering with public records and misconduct in public office.
According to the criminal complaint, in reviewing information collected during the search warrant, “numerous instances of Guild’s failure to perform his duties as a public official were revealed.” A list of documents that “should have been released” in reference to the open records request that were uncovered included records of complaints filed by public works employees against former director Tim Kingman, disciplinary actions and communications between then city administrator Keith Kost and city employees.
Regarding the open records request, Oneida County Captain Terri Hook concluded in the complaint that Guild did not provide the full email conversation to the city clerk upon her request nor did he provide it to the River News.
Additionally, Hook stated that Guild altered an email sent Jan. 31, 2019, to a League of Wisconsin Municipalities attorney requesting information on how the common council could remove the council president, George Kirby, from that role. The email was allegedly altered by “deleting and changing words” before providing the email to city council and the city attorney.
“Instead of forwarding them the email as Guild had sent it, Guild removed words that indicated a group of people was requesting this information.”
If convicted, Guild could be sentenced up to 18 months in prison, two years extended supervision and/or a $10,000 fine. A special city council meeting is scheduled for Friday, March 13 at 7 p.m. to discuss potential action regarding Guild.