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Kenosha School Board Member Lawyers Up: Vows To Fight Removal From Office

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Kenosha School Board Member Eric Meadows
(Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

In a move that has never happened in recent history, Kenosha Unified School District Superintendent Jeff Weiss (D) and board president Yolanda Santos (D) have unilaterally decided that due to a mistake by the district, board member Eric Meadows will be removed from office. The school district said in a release that the mistake was discovered almost a year into Meadow’s three-year term. Some of the 75+ supporters that attended a press conference tonight think there is more to the story. The group met at about 5:45 pm outside the educational support center located at 3721 52nd St, in Kenosha. Meadows is a pro-parent rights conservative and wanted to unmask children in the district and keep kids in school. These positions resonated with voters in the Spring of 2022. He was elected, along with two other candidates.

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Brian Gonzales, Retired Kenosha Police Officer and Meadows Supporter
(Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

Kicking off the press conference was retired Kenosha police officer and conservative activist Brian Gonzales. “We’re here to support Eric, but we’re also here to support our vote, because the bottom line is we cannot have theses people overrule our vote. This is a certified election and we certified Eric to be there for [three years]. Because he is supposed to be there for three years, suddenly now because it’s Eric, it’s gonna be a one year thing? I think not,” said Gonzales.

Mary Magdalen Moser, Meadows Supporter
(Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

Next to speak was local artist, 21-year poll-worker and supporter of Meadows, Mary Magdalen Moser. She said that the removal of a duly-elected board member is unconstitutional and said “there are no do-overs” in election. “We are not surfs, or peasant, or slaves, we are citizens, and our votes matter. We support Eric.”

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Barb Griffin Supporter of Meadows
(Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

Barb Griffin spoke next and scrutinized board chair Yonanda Santo’s last-minute change to the upcoming meeting where Meadows’ fate will be decided. The meeting will be two days early and occur on February 20, 2023 at 6 pm at Indian Trail High School located at 6800 60th St in Kenosha. Many speculate that it was changed to stifle public comment, which is suspected to be very significant. We asked Santos why she changed the meeting and she wouldn’t answer.

Lamar Madison, Candidate for Kenosha Unified School District Board
(Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

Lamar Madison, candidate for Kenosha Unified School District Board, spoke next. He will be on the ballot this April, and he is also a supporter of Meadows. “There is no election that has ever been overturned that has been certified,” said Madison. “The voters should not be disenfranchised because [the district] made a mistake. Eric should not pay the price for a mistake the district made,” he continued. “As far as I know, since 2020, a certified election cannot be overturned.

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KUSD Board Member Kristine Schmaling
(Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

KUSD board bember Kristine Schmaling spoke in support of Meadows and told the crowd that the two have worked very hard to make progress in the schools.

Eric Meadows, Kenosha Unified School Board Member
(Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

Meadows exited the ESC at about 6:15 pm, taking a short break from a committee meeting, and was greeted by the large gathering with cheering and applause.

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“Today, I authorized my attorney Erick Kaardal, Thomas More Society Special Counsel, to send a cease and desist letter to the KUSD school board and the superintendent demanding the district halt their proceedings to replace me by appointment.

The resolution presented to the KUSD school board by their attorneys to rectify the situation is unacceptable as they are forcing me to accept the consequences of their own egregious mistake. I was elected to a three year term and feel the will of the people has been trampled if I am unfairly forced out prematurely by school board appointment. 

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I have therefore sought and retained Thomas More Society as legal counsel and have decided to contest the KUSD school board’s decision to replace me, an elected board member, with a person, who is appointed by the school board.

I respectfully request the school board reconsider their plan to oust me in favor of respecting the will of the people.

We expect to hear from them soon so I can get back to doing what the citizens of Kenosha elected me to do.”


Eric Meadows, Kenosha Unified School Board Member
(Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

Meadows took a few questions from the press after his prepared statement. Meadows indicated that he does plan to apply to be appointed to the KUSD board for one more year. If he is appointed, he will still be shorted one year of his term.

“This is not yet formal litigation, but there is a threat of formal litigation… If they don’t comply with my demands, we will be filing a lawsuit,” said Meadows.

Meadows told KCE that while he was initially happy with KUSD Superintendent Jeff Weiss’s leadership, he isn’t happy with how easily he caved to the pressure to remove Meadows from office.

Meadows’ legal team, The Thomas Moore Society, will be representing hims in the inevitable litigation. According to the organization’s website, their mission statement is:

“The Thomas More Society is a not-for-profit, national public interest law firm dedicated to restoring respect in law for life, family, and religious liberty. Based in Chicago, the Thomas More Society defends and fosters support for these causes by providing high quality pro bono legal services from local trial courts all the way to the United States Supreme Court.”

Group of Supporters Tuesday Night
(Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)
Republican Party of Kenosha County Chair Sandy Wiedmeyer Addresses Meadows Supporters Tuesday Night
(Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

You can watch the entire press conference below:

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15 Responses

  1. There’s a lot of hyperbole and gravitas here but my impression is that many people are more interested in that then what the law is and whether it’s being followed. How about we try to sort this out?

    1. There were three open school board seats, only one was was supposed to be for the balance of a term.

    2. The school district screwed up and advertised all seats as being for three-year terms.

    3. The school district’s election method is not to allocate seats where individual board candidates would run for that position but to have board members elected from a pool of candidates with the winners corresponding to the number of open seats.

    4. Eric Meadows was the third top vote getter.

    5. Later the district found out about the error and an effort is underway to somehow force Meadows out of office. His supporters say that he should not have to pay for the mistake. Many argue that the board should, if they declare the seat vacant, appoint him to fill the vacancy. This is not required by law.

    6. What actually is the law here? For example, what law says that the winning candidate with the fewest votes gets the seat with the shortest term? Or is the law silent on this? Should the shorter term have been a separate ballot so that candidates would run specifically for it? (And should the district have numbered seats which would not only have averted this problem but would give voters a chance to evaluate the performance of specific board members as they would have to run separately? That’s a policy question.)

    7. What law or laws gives the board authority to remove Meadows in this situation? And, again, was he singled out from the three successful candidates and, if so, on what legal basis?

    Absent specific authority for #7 it seems that there are some options here.

    1. If Meadows doesn’t step aside the Wisconsin statutes provide for a special lawsuit (quo warranto) to be filed to remove him. Then all sides will have their day in court where, quite frankly, this case probably belongs. And due to the unusual circumstances this may be a unique case.

    2. Meadows resigns clearing the slate and avoiding litigation. The board will then have to appoint an interim board member. The board does not have to appoint Meadows but there is some support for them to do that and arguments to be made favoring that approach. Apart from pleasing Meadows’ supporters (and perhaps Meadows himself) there’s a saying that bad cases make bad law. Litigation could make bad law. It will also cost taxpayers money that could be spent on better things (like educating children). This approach would require good faith and compromise on all sides. It may require deviation from board policy but there are ways to change policies. It would require a good faith commitment from the remaining board members and Mr. Meadows to achieve a common-sense solution that will save taxpayer money and avoid the risk of making bad law. That said, if I were Mr. Meadows I might also insist that part of this would be a serious look at how board members are elected so that in the future this doesn’t happen again.

    I favor the common sense solution. But it would require compromise and common sense, things that are in short supply these days. Yet it also gives voters something to consider in future elections: Who was willing to fix a mistake by good faith and compromise vs. those who want to spend taxpayer money on something other than educating kids? Given that every board candidate promises to act for the best interests of the children the answer to that seems self-evident.

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    1. Your second point is incorrect. KUSD didn’t screw up an advertisement, it screwed up a statutorily required legal notification to the qualified electors of the District and that cannot be undone, especially by the method KUSD is attempting more than a year later. Election notifications are legally binding documents in the same way that a ballot cannot be altered to remove the name of a candidate who has died prior to the election because the time to change the ballot has legally expired.

      KUSD’s legally binding 2022 Spring Election notification to the voters stated: “The three candidates receiving the highest vote totals will be named to three-year terms expiring April 27, 2025.”

      KUSD has no constitutional or statutory authority to overturn or nullify the results of an election that the KUSD itself certified on April 11, 2022.

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  2. Suddenly the left agrees with that voter errors exist? The hypocrisy of the left and this city never cease to amaze me!

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  3. AGAIN, CORRUPTION …
    Because this guy is good and goes against the ones that use their position on the board for personal gain. . leave this guy on he is doing good for are schools and so are the newly elected ones. we have good people like Kristine Schmaling and meadows on are bored finally making a difference … I actually hope that Kristine
    Schmaling stays on and grows with are school, i feel she does and is making a difference !!!!!!!

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  4. The election was “certified” and now a year later the Kenosha School Board wants to nullify it? Oh yeah that won’t play well in social media.

    Should make for great news coverage state, if not nationwide showing how Kenosha operates.

    Online media is already covering the upcoming Rittenhouse civil suit which will reopen Kenosha’s three nights of demonstrated mismanagement by Dem leadership, might as well expose KUSD’s school board as well.

    Looking forward to what will be another circus caused by the liberals in charge.

  5. Cutting through the rest of the crap for a moment and looking at the big picture, the intent here is to throw someone off the school board he was elected to serve on and replace him with someone chosen by the school board he was supposed to be a part of. Find a good strong branch on the Tree of Liberty, or just have an extra school board member with the last name of Meadows, for the entire term he was certified to serve. Nothing else will be sufficient for justice to be done. At the least, the people in Kenosha will have to admit that no one should be voting for Adams in the primary.

    1. I think the original poster said that if he stands his ground then it’s up to the school district to sue to remove him. Then it’ll be up to the court to decide. He has every right to stand his ground. On the other hand, if he doesn’t have a leg to stand on, are we not pissing away taxpayer dollars?

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  6. Even if KUSD screwed up & Meadows is to be removed, it was the will of the people that he serve a 3-year term, therefore it is the duty of the board to immediately appoint Meadows to the position.

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