By Shereen Siewert

Marshfield Police Chief Richard A. Gramza is facing multiple felony charges following a months-long investigation into his conduct.

Gramza, 47, has been on a voluntary leave of absence since early August. City officials say they learned of the criminal charges early Friday and are currently evaluating the charges. As of Friday, Gramza remains employed by the city.

Court records show Gramza faces charges of fourth-degree sexual assault, three counts of misconduct in office and a charge of disorderly conduct related to incidents that allegedly occurred in 2014, 2019 and in June of this year.

In July, after Gramza was placed on leave for six days, city officials announced that the chief was cleared in an outside criminal allegation involving a “more than decade-old” allegation and publicly stated the accusations involved were “unfounded.” One month later, Gramza was back on leave. City officials have not said whether the two investigations are connected.

The investigation that resulted in the criminal case filed Friday was conducted by the Eau Claire Police Department. Charges were issued by the Jackson County District Attorney’s office and filed in Wood County Circuit Court.

Assistant Chief Pat Zeps has been in command of the department since early August.

In a statement, Marshfield Administrator Steve Barg called the news “disheartening, unsettling and disappointing.”

“…Our law enforcement officers remain committed to providing our community with services performed at the highest standards demanded by our community,” Barg said.

Gramza began his career with the Marshfield Police Department in 1997 as a patrol officer and later served as a school liaison officer. He was a detective and a lieutenant before being named police chief in 2014.

Additional information about the case were not immediately available on Friday.