UPDATE: Search warrants executed at Rhinelander City Hall for misconduct, records tampering
Rhinelander City Hall was secured for the execution of two state search warrants from Thursday morning through late afternoon, regarding a felony investigation of misconduct in office and tampering with public records.
A press release from Oneida County chief deputy Dan Hess indicates two search warrants were executed starting just before 9:30 this morning. The Oneida County Sheriff's Office is being assisted by detectives from Vilas County Sheriff's Office, Marathon County Sheriff's Office, and the digital forensics team with the Wisconsin Division of Criminal Investigation.
"Any time that say you would tamper with any type of documents or not-released documents that you’re supposed to release, that would constitute misconduct in public office," Hess told NewsChannel 7.
"DCI is involved because they have a digital forensics unit that would take digital evidence for us," Hess said.
The search warrants are part of an ongoing investigation, Hess confirmed. The Price County Sheriff's Office participated with the initial part of the investigation, Hess noted.
Hess said any city employees there left for the rest of the day when the search was initiated, and none were allowed on the premises while the search was ongoing.
"When we execute a state search warrant, we secure the scene and then we execute the search warrant so no one’s allowed back in the scene."
Hess said he was not concerned at this time about employees accessing documents offsite. The department is not confirming at this time who they are investigating, but said that more information is forthcoming. Hess could not confirm how long it would take to review the digital evidence that was obtained in the search today.
Stay with NewsChannel 7 for the latest on this developing story.