Northwoods tribal leader pleads not guilty in work confrontation - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Northwoods tribal leader pleads not guilty in work confrontation


CRANDON (WAOW) - The chairman of the Sokaogon Band of Lake Superior Chippewa has pleaded not guilty to assaulting a tribal employee after a judge ruled prosecutors presented enough evidence to justify the charges, according to online Forest County court records.

Chris McGeshick, 52, of Crandon is charged with two felonies - false imprisonment and intimidating a witness - and two misdemeanors in the June 29 incident at tribal offices in the Town of Nashville.

The victim told investigators McGeshick grabbed him and put him in an arm hold, tossed him to the floor and slammed him up against a wall, causing a shoulder sprain and a "facial contusion," the criminal complaint said.

McGeshick said the confrontation occurred with a tribal employee who was being suspended and refused to give him a tribal-issued cell phone, the complaint said.

Following a nearly two-hour preliminary hearing Wednesday, a judge ordered McGeshick to stand trial following testimony from some police witnesses, including Sheriff John Dennee, court records said.

No trial date was immediately set.

The victim said he gave McGeshick other equipment, including an iPad, but he wanted to remove his children's photos off the cell phone before surrendering it, the complaint said.

McGeshick told investigators he tried to stop the suspended worker from leaving with the phone and attempted to find it in his pockets before they "wrestled a little big," the complaint said.

The tribal council has called the charges against McGeshick "absolutely untrue," groundless and a "great disservice to our community."

The council said McGeshick's accuser was being investigated by the tribal government but did not say why.


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