MERRILL - The debate in Merrill over what's junk and what's historic treasure may not end soon.
It appears Merrill City leaders won't punish two of its workers for taking items from a now demolished building on the Lincoln County Fair Grounds.
After about a month-long investigation, Mayor Bill Bialecki sent out a statement Thursday morning on behalf of the common council with a decision.
It said, "The actions of City Administrator Dave Johnson and Fire Chief Dave Savone, although not in violation of city Ordinances or policies, were in poor judgment. They have been advised to follow City ordinances and policies to avoid improper conduct or the appearance of such conduct, as it reflects poorly on City Government."
Back in July, Savone got the okay from Johnson to help a friend take some shutters and tables from the
Schultz building on the grounds before it was demolished.
But some people considered those items historic and expressed their concern on social media.
The Merrill City Common Council then hired an outside firm to investigate.
Now that that's done, Johnson still feels the same way he always did.
"I've stated from the beginning that there were no laws, ordinances or policies that were violated, and that is what the investigation showed," Johnson said. "So, I mean, how can I feel other than vindicated?"
Johnson and Savone did return the items.
Savone did not want to talk on camera but told Newswatch 12 he did not violate any ordinances.
Opponents of this decision believe the city leaders violated state open meetings laws.
According to documents obtained by Newswatch 12, those opponents filed a complaint Thursday afternoon with the Lincoln County District Attorney.