UPDATE: Marathon County Sheriff to discuss office absences - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

UPDATE: Marathon County Sheriff to discuss office absences

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MARATHON COUNTY (WAOW) -

Sheriff Randy Hoenisch is planning a 2:00 p.m. press conference Friday to discuss what he calls current issues.

Hoenisch's attendance at the Marathon County Sheriff's Department has been scrutinized in recent months, ever since an investigation involving his wife, Kim Hoenisch, was made public.

Earlier this year, Kim Hoenisch was convicted of stealing prescription drugs from her clients during her work as a probation officer.

Security code records document every time a member of the sheriff's department swipes his or her key card to enter or exit the building. Those records, obtained by Newsline 9, show Sheriff Hoenisch has clocked less than 24 hours in the past 6 months.

Newsline 9 will have a crew at the press conference and will have the latest information Friday afternoon.


MARATHON COUNTY (WAOW) - Sheriff Randy Hoenisch has been Marathon County's Chief Law Enforcement Officer since 2001.

"The sheriff is the leader of this department," Chief Deputy Scott Parks of the Marathon County Sheriff's Department said.

But, since an investigation involving his wife, Kim Hoenisch, began in August, the time the sheriff has spent in his office has dropped dramatically.

Kim Hoenisch was convicted of stealing prescription drugs from her clients during her work as a probation officer. Security code records document every time a member of the sheriff's department swipes his or her key card to enter or exit the building. Those records, obtained by Newsline 9, show Sheriff Hoenisch has clocked less than 24 hours in the past 6 months.

"We are concerned about the situation, we've been concerned about the situation for a long time," Marathon County Administrator Brad Karger said.

But, during a phone interview with Newsline 9, the sheriff says those security records don't prove he's not actively working. Chief Deputy Scott Parks says the department records aren't 100% reliable.

"There's other means to access this department. You can either access through keys or follow someone else in," Parks said.

So, Newsline 9 asked, "is he physically here more than what those key cards are showing?"

"The sheriff is here but right now he has been out a little more because of the incidents that are taking place," Parks replied.

But, Karger isn't buying it.

"We have to have present, engaged leadership to ensure we are doing the planning that will serve our community well," Karger said.

And when asked if that executive leadership exists right now?

"It's hard to provide executive leadership off site," Karger said.

Sheriff Hoenisch tells Newsline 9 he is in communication with many members of the sheriff's department. He says he has been completely engaged with operations. But, Karger says it's time he's held accountable.

"People have been very generous in giving him the benefit of the doubt, but I think there's been some very legitimate concerns raised at this point," Karger said.

Sheriff Hoenisch told Newsline 9 he has no plans to retire right now. He says the only reason he would is if he had to deal with family matters. But, he did say he won't know any of that for sure until his wife learns her sentence. Kim Hoenisch is scheduled to be sentenced at the end of April.

Sheriff Hoenisch remains the fourth highest paid sheriff in the state. He makes close to $100,000 per year.

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