Wausau School Board Member Mary Thao is requesting a formal apology from the county board member who compared protesters at a peace march to the Ku Klux Klan. County Supervisor Sherry Abitz made the KKK reference in an email exchange with Thao, a constituent in Abitz’ district, that discussed the rally and suspension of Marathon County Administrator Brad Karger for his part in the May 30 march. Abitz said bringing the marchers to the courthouse was like bringing the KKK to someone’s doorstep.


City Pages file photo

Marathon County Supervisor Sherry Abitz is being asked to publicly apologize to a school board member and constituent who was offended by comments she made in an email earlier this year.

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Abitz offered an apology during a county meeting, but that wasn’t enough to quell the upset expressed by Hmong members of the community. Marathon County Board Chairman Kurt Gibbs, who forwarded the request to the executive committee, said he’s also meeting with Supervisor Yee Leng Xiong and other Hmong leaders to discuss the issue.

Abitz has since filed a restraining order against Thao, Gibbs said. Most of the executive committee agreed that what Abitz said in the email was wrong, but that she apologized and everyone should move on. The committee on Tuesday directed Gibbs to reach out to Abitz to see if she and Thao can work out their differences.

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