MMSD’s Head of Communications, Tim LeMonds, on leave during investigation

The Madison Metropolitan School District’s head of communications, Tim LeMonds, is on leave amidst an ongoing investigation.
Published: Jun. 15, 2023 at 6:00 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The Madison Metropolitan School District’s head of communications, Tim LeMonds, is on leave amidst an ongoing investigation. NBC15 Investigates confirmed LeMonds’ employment status with the district’s human resources team Thursday afternoon.

Earlier this month, MMSD broke its silence after a complaint alleging harassment and bullying against its head of communications was made public after NBC15 Investigates went to court to make the complaint public.

After a Dane County judge ruled MMSD had to release the complaint to the public, the district sent a public statement. It was sent byf Communications Manager Ian Folger who confirms the statement was drafted by MMSD’s legal team. The statement addressed a complaint against LeMonds that 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.

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. The school did an initial investigation into the complaint months ago and found most of the claims were found “without merit.” And no action was taken against LeMonds at that time.

When asked to comment on the allegations made against him, LeMonds said “I am very grateful for the school district’s fair and thorough investigation of the complaint in October of 2022, for which I was cleared of all allegations. I am eager to move forward, resolve the relational issues within the team, and get back to working together to uplift the many great things happening in our schools - like our graduating class of 2022-2023.”

The statement also says the district would address the issues in the communications department in the future.

“We will conduct a full review of the department operations, structure and human interactions in the coming months. At the same time, the District will have significant leadership changes this summer, and through those transitions we will work to reorganize and restore relationships that are essential to our success,” stated Folger.

Days after the statement was released, NBC15 Investigates filed an open records request to get more information as to how the district was going to investigate the complaint. On Wednesday, the school district’s legal team denied the request citing the Wisconsin state statute that allows them to not release documents pertaining to an active investigation, meaning an active investigation is currently underway.

Unfortunately, we are unable to provide you anything related to Mr. LeMonds as Wis. Stat. §19.36(10)(b) prohibits us from releasing any records “…relating to the current investigation of a possible criminal offense or possible misconduct connected with employment by an employee prior to disposition of the investigation.”

MMSD Legal Services

Right now there is no word on when the investigation into the complaint will conclude.

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