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GC school district hires forensic auditor, alleged misconduct of former superintendent turned over to DA

By LeAnn R. Ralph

GLENWOOD CITY — The Glenwood City school district has hired a forensic auditor to review alleged financial misconduct by former superintendent Tim Johnson, and the case has been turned over to the St. Croix County district attorney.

The forensic audit will review irregularities reported to the Glenwood City Board of Education by residents in the school district concerning reimbursements to Johnson between July 1, 2017, and September 10, 2021, for continuing education classes Johnson said he had taken at Viterbo University in La Crosse. 

The reimbursements amounted to $40,650.

Shawn DeWitt of the Tribune Press Reporter said he had talked with Glenwood City Police Chief Joel Klatt last week, and that Police Chief Klatt had said the investigation has been turned over to the St. Croix County district attorney’s office. 

The current superintendent of the Glenwood City school district, Patrick Olson, sent the following letter to staff, parents and some community members on March 14: 

As communicated in GCSD Spring Newsletter sent out on March 4, 2024, the School District of Glenwood City continues our active investigation regarding its former superintendent and is cooperating with all outside investigating authorities. The District is not able to comment further on this matter at the current time.

The School District of Glenwood City has a fundamental responsibility to be effective stewards of the taxpayers’ money. To provide complete transparency, the GCSD Board of Education approved a contract with Intellex Forensics Advisory Services, Inc. at last night’s Board Work Session to conduct a forensic audit to begin as soon as possible. The fee for conducting the forensic review of School District Glenwood City is capped at $21,000.

As stated before, we would like to assure the Glenwood City community that we are taking these issues seriously. We appreciate the community’s understanding and support. When and if we are able to share more information, we will do so. The School District of Glenwood City’s TOP PRIORITY is ensuring that we provide the highest quality learning environment for our students and that we hold ourselves to the utmost moral and ethical standards regarding the District’s internal operations. The School District of Glenwood City’s TEAM of Staff will continue to focus on the educational process for EVERY STUDENT, EVERY DAY and we appreciate your support and patience as we work through this current situation. We will continue to earn your trust with true integrity and transparency.

Respectfully, Patrick B. Olson, District Administrator.

Chippewa Falls 

Johnson resigned as superintendent of schools in Glenwood City in May of 2023 and subsequently accepted a position with the Chippewa Falls school district as Executive Director of Human Resources and Public Relations.

Johnson was placed on administrative leave from his position in Chippewa Falls following a Fox 9 report in late January that highlighted the alleged financial irregularities reported to the Glenwood City Board of Education.

The Chippewa Falls school district issued a news release the evening of January 29 stating that the Board of Education had accepted Johnson’s resignation as the executive director of human resources and public relations. 

Glenwood City school district residents spoke to the Glenwood City Board of Education about their concerns regarding the reimbursements to Johnson on three different occasions over the past several years and again at the January 22 Board of Education meeting.

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