Tuesday evening, the city’s Committee of the Whole convened into closed session to discuss results of an investigation conducted by Wausau-based Ruder Ware Law Firm. After nearly two hours of discussion, the committee departed closed session without any sort of announcement or indication of results. However, aldermen did indicate an official announcement would be made later today.
The investigation stems from a late-July incident, during which City Administrator Dave Johnson reportedly authorized removal of property from the former Schultz Building, at the Merrill Festival Grounds.
In what has since been coined ‘The Schultz Building Incident’, Johnson allegedly authorized a private individual from outside the county, to remove items from the building. The items had been stored there by Lincoln County and other entities, prior to the city taking ownership of the grounds from Lincoln County last year. While no documentation or inventory was ever created as to what was stored there, or what exactly was removed, the items reportedly included doors and tables which had originally been brought from the Lincoln County Courthouse.
The property has since been returned.
In mid-August, Kevin J.T Terry of Ruder Ware was retained by the city to lead a formal investigation into the removal of the property.
During an interview with Terry following retention by the city in August, he declined to go into any detail on projected length of the investigation, cost or what exactly the investigation will entail.
“When these types of investigations occur, people want results like yesterday,” he stated in mid-August.
“But I can tell you the investigation will be very thorough and the results will be reported to the city’s Common Council upon completion of our investigation.”
Terry has been employed with the firm since 2011 and has performed several similar investigations in both the private sector as well as local government and school districts.