Marshfield aldermen ask for police chief’s removal
By City Times staff
MARSHFIELD – Marshfield aldermen are asking the city’s Fire & Police Commission to terminate Police Chief Rick Gramza’s employment.
Following a two-hour closed session on Dec. 29, the common council voted 10-0 in favor of authorizing Marshfield City Administrator Steve Barg to file formal employment-related charges against the chief.
In a prepared statement after the meeting, Mayor Bob McManus said Barg would be filing those charges with the commission on Dec. 30.
The mayor read from a statement:
Under state statutes, McManus said the commission will have to schedule a hearing date 10-30 days after receiving the city’s formal request.
The mayor described the two-hour closed session as “tense.”
The mayor said that the 10-0 vote by the common council showed that aldermen were in agreement with the Marshfield Professional Police Association, which cast a unanimous vote of “no confidence” in Chief Gramza Nov. 10.
Under state rules, McManus said the hearing in front of the Fire & Police Commission would need to take place between Jan. 9-29.
Gramza, who turns 48 in January, was charged in early November with five counts – three felony charges of misconduct in office for acting with excessive authority, one misdemeanor count of fourth-degree sexual assault, and one misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct.
Gramza’s alleged victim brought allegations against the chief dating back to 2015. He acknowledges a sexual relationship, but insists the contact was consensual. Gramza is free on a $10,000 signature bond, and is due back in Wood County Circuit Court for a preliminary hearing Jan. 13.
In the meantime, he remains on paid administrative leave, and continues to receive a salary and benefit package from the city totaling just over $146,000, including an annual base wage of $104,500 and a $1,200 car allowance.