Complaint alleges MMSD communications director bullied, harassed employees
MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - A complaint released Friday against Madison Metropolitan School District’s head of communication alleges instances of “emotional abuse, bullying, unequal pay, and harassment on the basis of gender, and race or ethnicity” against current and former district employees.
Back in March, MMSD’s Executive Director of Communications & Public Affairs Tim LeMonds sued the district after MMSD’s legal staff deemed records requested by NBC15 Investigates were public records that needed to be handed over to our news station. A Dane County judge ruled Thursday that the 14-page complaint, sent to MMSD’s Human Resources Department and Title IX coordinator in October of 2022, and other documents needed to be released by law.
The complaint was authored by seven current and former MMSD employees and alleges a pattern of mistreatment by LeMonds they say has been going on for years, especially against women and a person of color in protected classes. Documents state the school district investigated the claims, but they don’t detail the process. It is unclear if that investigation is ongoing or not. The records released by the school district show the claims investigated had insufficient evidence, siding with LeMonds. MMSD’s lawyers in court filings say “not all are without merit.”
Included in the timeline in the complaint are claims LeMonds would bully and harass his staff, including by screaming at them. It includes statements from former employees who previously resigned from their positions, saying their resignations are in large part due to LeMonds’ alleged behavior. The complaint also quotes remarks LeMonds allegedly said about local female journalists, a local paper and the Madison Police Department.
The complaint details how LeMonds allegedly interacted with and spoke about female journalists, including NBC15′s Elizabeth Wadas. According to the complaint, LeMonds allegedly described Wadas in a Zoom meeting as “Quickly becoming the sleaziest journalist in Madison…What a pig of a journalist” in response to a story Wadas was working on that was critical of a high school football coach.
NBC15 reached out to LeMonds on Friday for comment in response to the release of the complaint.
“All allegations of emotional abuse, bullying, unequal pay, and harassment on the basis of gender, and race or ethnicity included in the complaint were thoroughly investigated and found to be without merit,” LeMonds said.
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