SHEBOYGAN -- The Sheboygan Common Council met Monday night to discuss new allegations against embattled Sheboygan Mayor Bob Ryan. Mayor Ryan is now facing fourth-degree sexual assault allegations, for an incident that allegedly happened during a drinking binge. The Mayor says these new allegations are politically motivated, and denies any wrongdoing.
Mayor Ryan is facing two separate efforts to remove him from office. The first is rooted in politics - a recall election is set for January 17th. The other is a legal means of ousting Mayor Ryan from office.
Mayor Ryan denied these new allegations Monday night, and said he's cooperated with law enforcement in their investigation into his alleged sexual assault of an Elkhart Lake woman. "I have done nothing wrong. I have embarrassed myself. I have embarrassed my family, but I have done nothing wrong," Mayor Ryan said.
The Fond du Lac County Sheriff's Department was asked to look into these sexual assault allegations against Mayor Ryan rather than Sheboygan County law enforcement, in order to avoid a conflict of interest. Mayor Ryan says the allegations date back to August, when he was found binge drinking in Elkhart Lake. That event was the catalyst of an effort to remove him from office through unprecedented legal means and a separate recall election.
The Sheboygan County District Attorney's office says they're considering the results of this latest investigation. Meanwhile, Mayor Ryan continues to deny any wrongdoing. "If the District Attorney feels it's necessary to bring fourth charges, I am happy to address those, because there is absolutely nothing that has happened," Mayor Ryan said.
The assault claim against Mayor Ryan was part of a resolution Sheboygan Common Council members considered during Monday's meeting. An attorney for the City of Sheboygan said the allegations were printed in the interest of informing the public during the legal effort to remove Mayor Ryan. The resolution could put pause on the legal effort until the results of the recall election are clear.
Mayor Ryan calls printing the allegations nothing more than mud-slinging. "To me, if that is not a political smear campaign, I don't know what is," Mayor Ryan said.