Wausau School District

School board ethics complaint review delayed until May

A review of a recent ethics complaint filed by a current Wausau School Board candidate against several sitting board members over past campaign practices will be delayed until May, the complainant tells City Pages.

Gillian Battino last month filed a complaint to the Wisconsin Ethics Commission alleging that three current school board members — James Bouche, Jon Creisher and Joanne Reyes — combined finances in their “slate” campaigns, in effect taking campaign contributions from each other in excess of that allowed by campaign finance laws.

Gillian Battino

Battino cited a memo the WEC sent to the Wisconsin Association of School Boards urging caution when running co-called “slate” campaigns.

The memo says that while they’re not disallowed under state statute, any shared expenses should be considered in-kind contributions and need to be reported as such. Those in-kind contributions are capped as any contribution is capped.

Campaign finance reports from Bouche, Creisher and Reyes show each would have received far more from the other committees than the limits allowed under campaign finance laws.

Bouche responded to City Pages’ inquiry at the time, saying they were not made aware of the memo and believe they reported everything correctly.

Battino told City Pages the WEC did not give a reason for the delay.

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