Judge asks for more evidence in Gramza case
For the Hub City Times
WOOD COUNTY – A Portage County judge will determine next month whether enough evidence exists to charge Marshfield Police Chief Rick Gramza with felony misconduct in public office.
On Jan. 13, visiting Judge Thomas Eagon made that determination during a preliminary hearing for the 48-year-old Gramza, in the Wood County case charging him with three felony counts of misconduct in office for acting with excessive authority, one misdemeanor count of fourth-degree sexual assault and one misdemeanor count of disorderly conduct. The charges are based on an outside investigation of complaints from an officer under Gramza’s command at the Marshfield Police Department.
Judge Eagon said he wanted to hear more evidence before deciding whether Gramza should stand trial on any of the charges against him.
Judge Eagon said:
Judge Eagon gave Wood County prosecutors until Jan. 27 to present more evidence in their case against Gramza. His attorney, Gary Kryshak, will have until Feb. 12 to respond, and the judge will then hold another hearing in the case on Feb. 18. Gramza remains free on a $10,000 signature bond.
Meanwhile, the city of Marshfield is proceeding with employment-related charges against Gramza.
After a one-hour closed-session discussion, the morning of Jan. 13, the Marshfield Fire & Police Commission voted 3-0 in favor of directing its President Randy Gershman to work with the city attorney to have Gramza served with a copy of the allegations against him, and to then schedule subsequent hearings on those charges in front of the commission.
The hearings will determine whether Gramza violated any city personnel policies; and if he did, the commission would then decide if that should result in some sort of disciplinary action, such as suspension or termination.
Gramza was placed on paid administrative leave in mid-August, after a female police officer brought the allegations against the chief, stating they date back to December of 2015. Gramza has admitted to a sexual relationship with the employee, but has told investigators the contact was consensual.