Baldwin-Woodville school district accused of open meeting law violationsCitizens for Responsible Government Network and the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty announced Monday that WILL has filed a formal complaint with the St. Croix County District Attorney and the Wisconsin Attorney General against the members of the Baldwin-Woodville Area School District Board of Education.
Citizens for Responsible Government Network (CRG Network) and the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) announced Monday that WILL has filed a formal complaint with the St. Croix County District Attorney and the Wisconsin Attorney General against the members of the Baldwin-Woodville Area School District (BWSD) Board of Education.
The complaint alleges that the BWSD Board of Education and Superintendent Russell Helland violated Wisconsin’s open meeting laws when they convened in closed session on Dec. 19, 2011, to discuss and vote upon a measure to spend over $100,000 in taxpayer funds by granting over 200 school district full-time and part-time employees a $500 Christmas bonus.
“Our client is requesting an investigation by government prosecutors into whether the board failed to give proper notice that they would be discussing bonuses in closed session,” said attorney Tom Kamenick of WILL. “We also feel that an across-the-board bonus is not an appropriate subject to be discussing behind closed doors. If the D.A. and A.G. refuse to investigate and issue charges, we will consider filing a lawsuit ourselves as permitted by Wisconsin law.”
“We’re not trying to force these employees, most of whom are hard-working and a credit to the district, to give back their bonuses. We just want the board to realize that it crossed the line and cannot make such decisions behind closed doors,” said Orville Seymer.
Angry taxpayers attended the Jan. 16 school board meeting. Some attendees called for the resignation of Superintendent Russell Helland.