SHEBOYGAN, Wis. - Former Sheboygan City Administrator Todd Wolf filed a lawsuit against the city Monday, Feb. 6, demanding a jury trial after the Common Council fired him without cause in January.
The Sheboygan Common Council voted Jan. 9 to fire the city administrator without cause. The 8-2 vote against Todd Wolf came before an overflow crowd inside the chambers at City Hall.
The reason for the termination was not clear, as much of the discussion among Council members happened behind closed doors.
Wolf's attorney previously told FOX6 News an investigation centered around his handling of a city employee using a racial slur.
The city did not confirm what the investigation was about, which had residents demanding to be able to see the investigation.
"I demand you lift any alleged privilege, and let the Council and the target speak about what has happened," a resident said. "Tyranny is born in the dark. I fear oppressive government. You are an embarrassment to this city. You know it. I know it, and you know better."
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The Council did approve a severance package for Wolf.
Mayor, Alders, City Attorney Named as Defendants in Suit Filed in Federal Court by Todd Wolf
A suit has been filed in the U.S. District Court – Eastern District of Wisconsin by former City Administrator Todd Wolf concerning actions that resulted in his firing “without cause” last month. The lawsuit names the City of Sheboygan, Mayor Ryan Sorenson, City Attorney Charles Adams and 8 Alders who were served their summons immediately before Monday’s Common Council meeting, along with Sheboygan School District Board member Mary Lynne Donohue, reporter Maya Hilty and investigator Jill Hall who were expected to be served as co-defendants today. Alders Heidemann and Mitchell, who voted against Wolf’s firing, were not named in the suit.
Wolf has maintained that he was removed after refusing to bow to demands of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging activists within the city government, while for its part the City has not revealed the reasons for his dismissal. The lawsuit seeks to”vindicate the egregious constitutional deprivations that Mr. Wolf suffered at defendants’ hands simply because he chose to play by the rule of law rather than the ‘rule of DEIB’ in Sheboygan.”
City Employees Told to Have “No Communication” With Todd Wolf, Attorney
City employees have been instructed to keep quiet concerning a lawsuit filed against the City of Sheboygan and numerous individuals. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court – Eastern Wisconsin District claiming that the City, Mayor Sorenson, City Attorney Charles Adams, 8 alderpersons and several others actively coordinated to fire former City Administrator Todd Wolf, denying him his constitutional rights in the process.
WHBL was sent several copies of a letter issued by Assistant City Attorney Liz Majerus instructing City employees to have “no communication” with Wolf or his attorney, and to inform her if either attempts to contact them. The letter warned that any such communication may become evidence in the case, making it more likely that they could be deposed or called as a witness to testify. The letter also encouraged City employees to resist speaking to others, and to respond that it’s a personnel matter and a topic of active litigation which can’t be talked about.
WHBL sent an email on Tuesday evening to Mayor Sorenson and Attorney Adams asking if the letter constitutes a “gag order” but have yet to receive a response.