Attorney says man being sued by mayor is missing

Shwano Leader, Wisconsin/December 23, 2008

An attorney representing the Samanta Roy Institute of Science and Technology expressed concern Monday over the whereabouts of a former SIST board member he says has disappeared.

According to attorney Alan Eisenberg, Kalmar Gronvall has not been seen or heard from since he was placed on the Shawano County Sheriff's Department Most Wanted list for failure to appear for a child support hearing.

"I can't even confirm he's alive," Eisenberg said.

He said he last spoke with Gronvall after Gronvall learned he had been placed on the wanted list, which he said caused Gronvall to fear for his safety.

"He took it as ‘shoot-to-kill,'" Eisenberg said.

Eisenberg said Gronvall disappeared on Nov. 14. However, the $10,000 warrant for Gronvall's arrest was not issued until Nov. 18.

It was more than a week after the warrant was issued that Gronvall's name and photo were actually posted on the sheriff's department web site as one of the department's most wanted.

Gronvall was scheduled to appear Monday in Shawano County Circuit Court on a charge of operating after revocation. But he did not appear, and Judge Thomas Grover issued a warrant for his arrest.

Eisenberg said both Gronvall's residence and office in Shawano have been vacated.

"Everything is 100 percent emptied," he said.

However, Eisenberg said, Gronvall did not have many possessions.

"He lived from hand to mouth," he said. "He was low-key, quiet, gentle, and one of the most easy-going persons I've ever met."

Eisenberg is representing SIST in a number of legal matters, including a defamation suit filed by Shawano Mayor Lorna Marquardt against Gronvall, SIST and two of its subsidiaries over a pamphlet put out by Gronvall in 2006.

The pamphlet accused Marquardt of being a racist and included illustrations portraying her as an orangutan.

On Nov. 14, local authorities linked SIST to an alleged threat list being investigated by the FBI. Authorities have not named any suspects, but said they have a "person of interest" in the investigation.

Gronvall was seen in Shawano by a reporter earlier that day, attending a municipal court hearing for SIST CEO Naomi Isaacson. She was arrested on a federal bench warrant during a break in the hearing, and released the following week.

Eisenberg said he has checked with associates of Gronvall's in both Wisconsin and Minnesota, including people who formerly "were talking with him 10 times a day." He also said Isaacson hasn't spoken with him either.

Eisenberg said Gronvall's phone has gone unanswered and there has been no response to e-mails.

"I don't have a hint where he is," Eisenberg said.

"I hope and pray Kal Gronvall is alive," he said.

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