lowell holtz
Press Release
March 20, 2017
Media Contact
Mike Browne, Deputy Director
(608) 444-3483
One Wisconsin Now

ICYMI: Personnel Records Detail Troubled Tenure of Lowell Holtz at Beloit School District

Concerns About Ethics and Job Performance Detailed in Files Covering 2006-2009

MADISON, Wis. — The questionable ethics and self dealing of Lowell Holtz, candidate for state Superintendent of Public Instruction, have been on full display with revelations he attempted to negotiate a sleazy campaign endorsement deal that would have cost state taxpayers at least $500,000 and was working on his campaign during the workday, including using his school email while an employee of the Whitnall School District. A weekend Wisconsin State Journal story uncovers that concerns about his ethics and job performance date back to his 2006-2009 tenure at the Beloit School District, based on a review of his personnel file.

“These files show that Lowell Holtz has been making questionable ethical decisions and underperforming on the job for at least a decade,” said One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross. “He was reprimanded for ethical lapses and criticized for questionable decisions by a School Board that found his willingness to work with them and follow district policies lacking.”

Among the discoveries from Holtz’s personnel file from his tenure as the Beloit school superintendent, obtained under the state open records law by One Wisconsin Now and included in the story, are:

JOB DUTIES REVISED AND LIMITED
“Just before Holtz sought to dissolve his contract with the school district in order to run for state superintendent in the 2009 race, Erikson informed Holtz he was ordered to focus on specific projects the board outlined and that his remaining duties would be delegated to others.”

[See the 2009 memo]

“PERFORMANCE DEFICIENCIES” NOTED
“…according to a May 30, 2008, letter to Holtz from Beloit School Board president John Erikson, School Board members extended Holtz’s contract for one year instead of more because of what Erikson characterized as “performance deficiencies.”

Erikson wrote the board was significantly concerned about Holtz’s “lack of communication with the Board regarding significant matters” and said the board is often “unaware of important developments within the District.”

Holtz would not have his contract renewed if his performance did not improve, Erikson wrote.”

[See the 2008 memo]

CONTROVERSIAL HIRING OF HIS WIFE
… he also was criticized for the district’s hiring of his wife, Sue Holtz, to work as an online coordinator by contracting with the Cooperative Educational Support Agency she worked for and not posting the position. A board member said the group was “surprised” by the decision.

“I am not comfortable with the way some personnel decisions have been made,” an unidentified board member wrote in his evaluation. “It is unclear to me who Mrs. Holtz reports directly to.”

Later that year, Holtz’s wife was recommended to be hired for a full-time district administrator position and ultimately withdrew her name from consideration after questions arose from the public about nepotism, according to Beloit Daily News articles published in October 2007.”

[Excerpt from evaluation]

# # #

One Wisconsin Now is a statewide communications network specializing in effective earned media and online organizing to advance progressive leadership and values.

shannon zimmerman on language of women video still
Press Release

Shannon Zimmerman Video Raises Red Flags About Attitude Toward Women

The statement from Shannon Zimmerman – an announced candidate for a vacant State Senate seat – that women shouldn't be believed is a huge red flag.
One Wisconsin Logo
One Wisconsin Now
11/21/2017
silhouette shouting into megaphone
In the News

Chet Agni: Board of Regents chills free speech for students of color

Like students across the state, I was shocked by the Board of Regents’ new policy attacking free speech on University of Wisconsin System campuses.
Capital Times
11/16/2017
wisconsin supreme court
Press Release

One Wisconsin Now Calls for Probe of Michael Screnock

Recent newspaper reports detail the arrests of Michael Screnock and his failure to fully disclose the incidents on his application for a judicial appointment.
One Wisconsin Logo
One Wisconsin Now
11/16/2017
voters voting
Press Release

Institute Praises Milwaukee Action to Expand Early Voting Opportunities

Voting rights advocates are celebrating passage of a budget provision adding early voting sites in the City of Milwaukee.
One Wisconsin Logo
One Wisconsin Institute
11/15/2017
us capitol building
Press Release

Gov. Scott Walker Joins ‘If It’s True’ Crowd

Meanwhile in an interview broadcast on Sunday, Gov. Scott Walker, joined those offering aid and comfort to Moore by falling back on the “if it’s true” refrain.
One Wisconsin Logo
One Wisconsin Now
11/13/2017
scott walker in a hole
Press Release

Statements on Gov. Scott Walker Signing Foxconn Contract

Scott Walker literally signed away our future, agreeing to a contract to send billions of our tax dollars to boost the bottom line of a foreign corporation.
One Wisconsin Logo
One Wisconsin Now
11/10/2017
hand holding phone displaying twitter
In the News

Scot Ross: RT if you support the First Amendment

Free speech is not just for the people or organizations whom our state elected officials like or with whom they agree.
Capital Times
11/10/2017
ron johnson
Press Release

Ron Johnson’s Failure to Confront Sexual Abuse Continues

Ron Johnson Offers Only Qualified Condemnation of Sourced Reporting of Abuse of Teens, Minor Women by GOP U.S. Senate Candidate Roy Moore
One Wisconsin Logo
One Wisconsin Now
11/10/2017