Damakant Jayshi

Wausau City Council Alder Debra Ryan will file a claim that asks the city to reimburse legal fees incurred while defending an ethics complaint filed against her by Marathon County Supervisor William Harris.

“The city of Wausau Municipal Code contains provisions to protect city officials from the burden of legal defense costs from meritless complaints,” Ryan said, in a press release issued on Thursday. “Alder Ryan is entitled to have her legal fees paid by the city of Wausau under this provision.”

Ryan told Wausau Pilot & Review she would submit an invoice of $2,262.

The ethics investigation has already cost taxpayers more than $10,000 in legal fees through January alone, money paid to outside counsel assisting the Ethics Board for its investigation into allegations that Ryan made false statements against Harris. An attorney from the Stafford Rosenbaum law firm is assisting the Board.

Ryan has denied any ethics code violations.

The Board is meeting again at 4 p.m. on Monday, Mar. 28.

Harris is a Wausau attorney who is running for Marathon County Circuit Judge. Ricky Cveykus is also running for the judgeship.

On March 14, the Ethics Board dismissed the complaint but strongly condemned Ryan’s actions.

“The final Ethics Board is meeting next week so I do not know what information was included or not included in their decision making,” Ryan said. “Once officially concluded, my attorney and I may have further comments to be made about the decision.”