Marshfield council hears testimony in mayor complaint
For the Hub City Times
MARSHFIELD – Marshfield Common Council heard their first round of testimony during the first of three hearings regarding a complaint aimed at removing the mayor from office.
During the March 19 hearing at Marshfield City Hall, Marshfield’s top appointed city official said he was lied to by Mayor Bob McManus regarding missing text messages, which are at the center of the complaint.
The complaint was filed against the mayor by Andy Keogh, who said during his opening statement that he believes McManus destroyed electronic records that were supposed to be included as part of an April 2020 open records request made by Randy Gershman.
Keogh’s claims appeared to be substantiated by City Administrator Steve Barg during his recollection of the events leading up to Gershman’s request for the public records, and the city’s efforts to comply with that request.
Gershman testified that he filed the open-records request a year after he first started working on it.
At first, Gershman said he waited to file the request to give McManus the benefit of the doubt, seeing as how he was new to the mayor’s office and city government. But Gershman also testified that McManus had made statements during his campaign for the mayor’s office that troubled him as a member of the city’s fire & police Commission, like adding staff at the fire department and eliminating a fit-for-duty requirement at the police department.
The mayor contends Gershman’s open records request, and Keogh’s subsequent complaint to try removing him from office, are politically motivated; because, he replaced former fire & police commissioner, Nate Mueller, and recently tried replacing Keogh when his second five-year term ending last spring.
The mayor said:
Four hours of testimony wrapped up shortly after 10 p.m., with Randy Gershman still on the witness stand, waiting to be questioned by members of the common council. Gershman’s testimony will continue when the hearing resumes March 22 at 5 p.m. at the city hall. The council has also set aside Tuesday evening for testimony, as well as possible action regarding Keogh’s complaint.
For the full hearing, visit www.facebook.com/CityofMarshfieldWI/videos/177613507505994.