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Attorney clears Gilman district administrator, high school principal under investigation

As Gilman’s administrator is cleared of wrongdoing, the high school principal is under scrutiny and on unpaid leave as investigation is done into allegations against him.

On Wednesday, May 8, Cheryl Ustianowski, President of the Gilman Board of Education issued the following statement: “As many of you are aware, current and past employees have filed a number of complaints alleging that administrators in the Gilman School District were creating a hostile work environment. Attorney Justin Andrews conducted an independent investigation. Attorney Andrews completed his investigation, finding any claims against Superintendent Leipart unsubstantiated, and reported his findings to the Board of Education at its April meeting. At the Board’s direction both the accusers and the accused have been advised of the findings of Attorney Andrews’ investigation and the Board’s responses.

While that investigation was ongoing, the Board of Education was also advised that DPI is investigating what DPI considers a serious security breach during the Wisconsin Forward Testing conducted on March 27, 2024, by Principal Smith.

The Board also has received claims that Principal Smith solicited current and former employees to file hostile work environment complaints and violated the terms of his unpaid leave of absence by soliciting student and community support for those complaints. The Board has instructed Attorney Steve Weld to investigate those claims. The Board hopes to have the results of both reported on at its May 20 meeting.

Please note that, on the advice of legal counsel, there will not be a public comment period at the Board’s May meeting or at future Board meetings until all ongoing investigations into employee conduct are completed. If members of the public, who do not know all the facts, make false or defamatory comments about employees, it could potentially create legal exposure for both the speaker and the District. The public comment period will be reinstated when these ongoing personnel matters are finalized.”