School board throws out duly elected member, claiming election as an error

By Bob Unruh

(Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay)
(Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay)

A lawsuit has erupted in Wisconsin after Eric Meadows was elected to a three-year term on the Kenosha Unified School District board, and then after the election he was told it was for a one-year term only.

The Thomas More Society said the controversy developed when a Wisconsin Elections Commission worker said there was a clerical error in the vote.

Now the society has filed a petition in Kenosha County’s Wisconsin Circuit Court that details how the public school district insisted Meadows vacate his seat after only a year in office, despite being elected to a three-year term.

Orders from the district came on Feb. 1, 2023, that Meadows vacate his seat.

The Thomas More Society explained, “This occurred after it was revealed that the district had improperly listed the position as a three-year term, rather than a one-year term, at the time of the 2022 spring election. There were two three-year terms expiring in 2025 and a one-year term expiring in the spring of 2023.”

The problem is the district promoted and published, and voters cast ballots on, a three-year term.

Thomas More Society Special Counsel Erick Kaardal. “Following the public ballot, registered voters in the Kenosha Unified School District elected Eric Meadows to a three-year term on the school board.”

Kaardal had warned the district, when it made its plans known, not to follow through and throw out Meadows and appoint someone else to the seat. The board ignored his warnings.

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“There have been public accusations that Meadows was targeted for political reasons, though the board has denied that being the case, claiming that it was simply a ‘procedural matter,'” the report said.

“Intentional or not, you can’t pull a ‘bait and switch’ on a duly and fairly elected official,” Kaardal said. “No one is questioning that Eric Meadows was elected by the voters to a three-year term on the Kenosha Unified School District Board. What is of concern here is that the school board cannot keep their own staggered positions straight – it’s basic math and those running public education in Kenosha have flunked. Mr. Meadows cannot be punished for the incompetencies of his peers. With a background that includes finance and insurance, Eric’s skills appear to be desperately needed on this board.”

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