City may cut ties with police chief
For the Hub City Times
MARSHFIELD – Marshfield officials may avoid a series of hearings scheduled to look into the possible termination of the city’s police chief.
Following a March 2 closed session to consider a disciplinary matter involving Marshfield Chief Rick Gramza, the common council scheduled another special meeting for 7 a.m. Thursday morning, where Marshfield aldermen will consider a possible voluntary separation agreement with the chief.
The city and its fire & police commission had scheduled eight hearings starting next week to listen to evidence both for and against the termination of Gramza. The hearings are currently scheduled for March 10, 12, 15, 16, 17, 23, 24, and 25.
The hearings were scheduled after the common council voted in late December authorizing City Administrator Steve Barg to file formal employment-related charges against the chief. 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 form of disciplinary action, such as suspension or termination.
Gramza is still facing two misdemeanor charges of fourth-degree sexual assault and disorderly conduct in connection with a criminal case in Wood County, involving a female police officer who brought allegations against the chief last year. Gramza has admitted to a sexual relationship with the employee, but has told investigators the contact was consensual. The Portage County judge hearing Gramza’s case determined Feb. 18 there was not enough evidence to support felony charges of misconduct in public office with use of excessive authority.
Gramza has been on paid administrative leave since mid-August.