Felony charges filed against a number of Mercer School Board Members.
Written by Jesse Baroka on April 8, 2019
HURLEY / MERCER – Iron County District Attorney Matthew J. Tingstad has filed felony charges Friday against a number of current and former Mercer School Board Members. Current School board member Michele (Micki) Holmstrom, former school board member Deanna Pierpont and current school board president Noel Brandt, have all been charged with two counts of Misconduct/Office – Act/Excess Authority. Also charged in Iron County Court Colleen (Kelly) Kohegy and Denise Thompson, they face charges of Falsely Exercise Function/Public Office. The charges could carry punishment of up to 3.5 years of imprisonment and up to a $10,000 fine. The Mercer School district was under fire last year for allegedly spending about $175,000 from its community programs and services account — otherwise known as “Fund 80” — over the 2015-’16 and 2016-’17 school years. Most of that allegedly used to boost wages and benefits for a small group of school employees, As a result, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction issued a “revenue limit adjustment” for an equal amount, meaning the Mercer board was forced to slash spending or tap its reserves to balance its 2018-’19 budget. The Mercer School was also under fire after two girls volleyball coaches allegedly allowed players to view the sexploitation flick “Fifty Shades of Grey” on a road trip. The initial court date for Holmstrom, Pierpont, Kohegy, Thompson and Brandt is scheduled for 10:30am Monday, April 22 in front of Judge Patrick Madden.