Subscribe for 33¢ / day
Jake Speed

Jake Speed, left, was censured earlier this month by fellow Onalaska School Board members.

ONALASKA — The Onalaska School Board formally disciplined one of its own Monday night.

Board members unanimously agreed to censure Jake Speed, who recused himself from the vote.

“We have every right to do this,” board clerk Brian Haefs said, “and, in fact, I think we have an obligation to our kids to.”

Tension has been building between Speed and the rest of the board for months.

Last month Speed claimed to a local radio station that the school district illegally spent $3,500 on attorney’s fees. The district contacted their attorneys because, a month earlier, Speed told the same radio station that he filed a complaint with the FBI and La Crosse County District Attorney Tim Gruenke over malfeasance in the district.

“No such complaint has ever been filed,” Haefs said Monday night.

It is not illegal for school districts to spend money on attorneys, and Speed last October voted in favor of the district’s 2017 operating budget, which allocated $65,000 for legal advice.

“The board of education values diverse opinions but expects board members to conduct themselves in manners that are consistent with their oath of office,” Haefs said.

Haefs initiated the censure Monday night by handing out a sheet of paper with a written statement to all board members. While Haefs read from the sheet, Speed occasionally shook his head, once looking up to Haefs, who was sitting directly to his right, and chuckling.

Speed thanked the district for their action.

“I appreciate all of this,” he said, “for the simple fact that you guys are now proving that you’re trying to silence the things that I’ve been trying to do.”

He further stated that the board violated open meetings laws, skipped necessary procedures by not running the decision through an ethics committee and then accused the board of denying him his “due process.”

“If you guys spent as much time working on solving the problems as you do covering them up, there wouldn’t be any problems,” Speed said, later adding, “You’ve got the public buffaloed, absolutely buffaloed on the stuff that’s going on around here.”

Censuring Speed does not jeopardize his place on the board.

April 25 will mark the one-year anniversary of Speed taking his spot on Onalaska’s School Board. He won the April 5, 2016, election after challenging the validity of incumbents Ann Garrity and Tim Smaby’s nomination papers. The Government Accountability Board granted Speed’s challenge, and so removed Garrity and Smaby’s names from the ballot, leaving just the La Crosse Tea Party founder’s name on the ballot.

The school board convened in closed session after the censure vote Monday night, but Speed didn’t stay. On his way out of Onalaska High School, when asked if he cared to comment, Speed said: “Dude, I don’t talk to fake news.”

Speed has refused to speak to the La Crosse Tribune and Onalaska Holmen Courier-Life multiple times, calling them fake news and once saying that he had slipped, fallen on ice, bit his tongue and was unable to speak.

School Board President Ann Garrity stood by the board’s decision.

“When people Google or when they think about the school district of Onalaska, I don’t want them to think, ‘Oh, the board is crazy.’ I want them to go, ‘Hey, Onalaska is a blue-ribbon school,’ and, ‘Hey, we have 50 kids out doing amazing things in the community.’ That’s what we’re about,” she said.

0
0
0
0
0

Local news editor

(18) comments

olderthandirt

Old Jake has the right to express his opinion. Why get your undies in a knot if he is so crazy? He may not agree with all the liberalism, but that is his right !

superman

We been told for years that only Liberals obstruct and act childishly. So Old Fake Jake must be the only Liberal in those meetings.

superman

I would happily sign the Fake Speed recall petition.

superman

People want to live in, and choose to open enroll their kids in Onalaska, because the schools are excellent. That's one of the top reasons homes are selling so fast, and for more than the asking price. So from that perspective, the board is doing their job. Hopefully Jake, and his pal Greg will take a hint, and take their crying liberal arse and move somewhere else.

Darwin

The most entertaining time you'll spend today will be watching list wing nut during the school board meeting. He's an embarrassment; so disrespectful, ignorant, foolish, and delusional.

awol2009

The Mouse of Death, a true language savant off his Adderall.

superman

"..I don't talk to fake news"

LMAO - you can hear him regularly on WIZM La Cross Talk! Both him and Greg Luce are regular callers, so you can only imagine how fake that news is!

takka

I thought for sure that Buggs would be on here defending old Jake. If you want some great entertainment. Listen to WIZM 1410 from 4-6 P.M. Those callers make Speed sound normal.

Monteee

Just another attention-starved nutjob, who has no desire to actually help the community. He's a troll.

GoBucky

This is really unfortunate. Mr. Speed has become a distraction, a nuisance, and is attracting the wrong kind of attention to a school board. It's difficult not to agree with Mrs. Garrity's statement that when people look to the school board, they shouldn't see the black eye that Mr. Speed has brought to the district. They should see a school board working cohesively to further the educational interests of the kids and faculty, as well as the community involvement of the entire school district. It's a shame it's come to this. Perhaps the public should begin asking for Mr. Speed to resign his position so this sideshow he's created can be put to rest and the school district's interests can be put first.

3Riversdunski

Fake news???? How about "Dude, we don't want Fake School Board members", uttered by a community that has grown tired of this man's drain and obstruction against the growth and success of it's students? Does anyone know how one begins a recall process in a local school board scenario, in Wisconsin. Not many people are fans of the word "recall" (including myself) but I think it is time Fake Speed be sent back to Wonderland to take his place with the Mad-Hatter, and the March Hare.

awol2009

Is that Buggs Raplin's cousin? He must be another disciple of Alex Jones, another TBagger gone awry......

LaCrosseLady

I think when conservatives news organizations and politicians started calling real news fake to suit their own political agenda - it attracted mentally challenged people in droves. Claiming facts to be fake helps validate the way they felt about the world by saying what everyone is seeing is fake and their skewed paranoid view is the real one.

Cassandra

Another mentally unbalanced teabagger with an axe to grind.

lutefisk

one trippy dude

The Mouse of Death

[angry]To fidget over fake news is like fudging figures while forgetting the flan of flamingos. Buzzards of buffoonery lurk amidst the coda of conservatism.

Cassandra

The most coherent post yet from the Mouse.

danking56

It is not a "flan" of Flamingos. It is actually called a "Flamboyant" of Flamingos.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

Thanks for reading. Subscribe or log in to continue.