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Wisconsin Mayor in Hot Water After Three-Day Bender

The alcoholic mayor of Sheboygan faces a fight to keep his job after latest binge.

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Ryan slumps in a bar last weekend Photo via

By Kenneth Garger

08/01/11

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The city council committee of Sheboygan, Wisconsin, unanimously voted for its mayor, Bob Ryan, to quit after he embarked on a three-day bender that ended with a bar brawl. His fate may be sealed at a meeting planned for tonight. But Ryan insists that his alcoholism—and his plan to undergo outpatient rehab in an evening and weekend program—need not get in the way of his duties. Ryan—a self-described alcoholic—is mayor of a city of 50,000 about an hour north of Milwaukee. His binge kicked off at a Friday night dinner on July 22. "It began a three-day drinking session. I'm not proud of it. That's not me, but that's the alcoholic within me," he told WHBL Radio in Sheboygan. In the early hours of last Monday morning police received a call about a disturbance at a tavern in nearby Elkhart Lake. Patrons said Ryan was causing trouble by making rude remarks to female customers, leading to a scuffle. Cops issued a verbal warning. It's far from the first embarrassing episode caused by Ryan's drinking. He starred in a September 2009 YouTube video that showed him making crude comments about his sister-in-law. A human resources director also filed a sexual harassment complaint, accusing him of making a drunken sexual approach. Ryan admitted in this 12 News video: "If I was in the public's shoes, I may say 'that was your last chance,'" but added that he "owes" it to the city to continue as mayor. The council committee’s vote alone can't oust Ryan—a Sheboygan resident must also file a formal complaint to force an election. That hasn't happened—yet.

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