Nov. 16, 2016 – West Bend, WI – The Washington County Executive Committee held a lengthy discussion this week regarding a proposal to pass a ‘vote of no confidence’ for County Treasurer Jane Merten.
The proposal stems from an incident June 1, 2016 when Merten sent two separate wire transfers to fraudulent accounts. The total was $87,760, although the Washington County Sheriff said half of that never went through.
District 1 County Supervisor Kris Deiss felt the public should be the one to determine how the issue is dealt with. “It’s not our job as a supervisor to issue a vote of no confidence, the public can do that at the ballot box,” said Deiss.
Merten was just reelected county treasurer during the Nov. 8 election. She received 62,455 votes or 98.90%. Merten ran uncontested.
District 21 Supervisor Donald Kriefall initiated the resolution for a ‘no confidence’ vote. He said, “We’re limited on our actions and to take a vote of no confidence is similar to putting a notice in her file. This is the smallest thing we can do.”
Deiss was adamant it was still up to the voters of this county. “They had plenty of time to decide,” she said.
District 5 Supervisor Mike Bassill asked if there was a way to make the county treasurer post a “non-elected position.” That question was quickly dismissed as it is state statue that the post be elected.
District 20 Supervisor Mark McCune asked if Merten even apologized and to that Dist. 15 Supervisor Marilyn Merten answered from the audience that County Board Chairman Rick Gundrum had received a letter from Jane Merten.
“Isn’t it true you did get a letter from the treasurer,” said Marilyn Merten.
Gundrum said he had not but he would double check his email.
District 17 Supervisor Tim Michalak said if this had happened at a company with a comptroller then that person would be out of work. “I’m not asking for a resolution for resignation but a letter in the file,” he said.
Supervisor Kriefall is now working on a resolution to bring to committee.