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Sunday, April 24, 2011

School District Employee Disciplined for Political Phone Call

By Molly Hendrickson  WBAY
A Sheboygan gas station owner is baffled after a mystery caller tells a clerk it's a bad idea to do business with a Sheboygan-area state senator.

It started Tuesday when a woman called Dick Hiers's Northeast Standard gas station after she thought she saw Senator Joe Leibham there. Her call was caught on the answering machine.
"I think that this whole thing has to end. It has to stop," said Hiers. "This type of stuff is totally uncalled for."
Hiers never thought his little gas station in the heart of Sheboygan would be the stage of political controversy. Then again, his week has been full of surprises.
"I was working back here and the answering machine went off, and I was a little surprised by that, and when I heard the message here, I was even a little more surprised."
The answering machine here in the back of the store was left on from the night before and was recording the entire conversation.
Caller: "Can you verify that was Senator Leibham at the gas station this morning?"
Gas station clerk: "Senator Leibham?"
Caller: "Yes. Do you guys support him?"
Clerk: "I have nothing to say about that, I am not politically involved."
Caller: "Alright, well you can tell Dick he's not good for business, I'll tell you that."
Shocked over the 26-second conversation, Hiers quickly traced the call -- only to get surprise number two.
"And it turned out to be coming from the Sheboygan area district school office," he said.
"Obviously our school district equipment and the facilities are for the purposes of school," Superintendent Joseph Sheehan responded. "Any type of phone call leaving any types of threats or condoning any type of intimidation is strictly prohibited."
The superintendent, who was out of the area Friday, said the district's taken what it calls "appropriate disciplinary action."
The woman is a district employee but school officials say that 8:15 call was made before she was on the clock.
It turns out it wasn't the senator but his brother at the gas station.
As for Dick Hiers, he is still wants answers, saying this week full of surprises is a sign things have gone too far.
"Everybody's money is green, it's all the same, and I don't pick and choose who can come into my business," Hiers said.
Senator Leibham, who was not available for comment, has filed an open records request with the school district. The district says it's working on the request.

Please contact the Superintendent to let him know this is unacceptable:

Executive Management Team

Dr. Joseph Sheehan, Superintendent
(920) 459-3512 |

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