Felony charges against Marshfield police chief dropped
For the Hub City Times
MARSHFIELD – Marshfield Police Chief Rick Gramza has had three felony charges against him dropped.
The Portage County judge hearing Gramza’s Wood County court case determined Feb. 18 that there is not enough evidence to support three felony charges of misconduct in public office with use of excessive authority.
Visiting Judge Thomas Eagon did find enough evidence to proceed with misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct and fourth-degree sexual assault.
The judge issued his ruling without hearing from the alleged victim in the case – a female officer with the Marshfield Police Department – who told an outside investigator the contact with Gramza dates back to 2015. Gramza, 48, has acknowledged a sexual relationship with the employee, but told investigators the contact was consensual.
Gramza’s attorney, Gary Kryshak, also entered not guilty pleas on his behalf during the court appearance. Gramza remains free on a $10,000 signature bond. Judge Eagon scheduled a pre-trial conference for March 22 at 11 a.m.
Meanwhile, Gramza will find out in March whether he will keep his job.
The city is proceeding with employment-related charges against the Chief. The city’s fire & police commission has scheduled a series of eight hearings between March 10-25, which 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, but has continued to receive his salary and benefit package from the city, totaling just over $146,000.