ICYMI: Troubling Questions Unanswered at Scott Walker's DWD

Nov 28, 2011

MADISON – Just days after it was announced that Wisconsin led the nation in jobs lost — at nearly 10,000 — in the month of October, another scandal is brewing in a mismanaged Scott Walker department. And coincidentally, these troubling new questions have arisen with the state department charged with connecting workers with jobs, training and assistance.

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, a recently-fired employee had charged the former secretary of the Department of Workforce Development with harassment. Within the short 11 months since Walker took office, two secretaries for the DWD abruptly left their post after just five months
    •    Why did they leave the position so soon?
    •    Given that these are the top administrators who manage the whole department, and therefore have full control over all decisions and policies, was there another player in a larger capacity over them that forced them out or made it too difficult to continue?
    •    Also, given that each of the two prior secretaries were in the position for such a short amount of time, there must have been very few, if any, productive new policies developed to help workers. How much has this lack of action hindered the unemployed?
    •    What kind of harmful impact of this top tier shuffling has trickled down the ranks and disrupted programs and policies already in place?
    •    If Walker can’t keep top-level administrators in appointed positions, how can average workers count on him to create jobs and bolster business?

In addition to the two top administrators at the DWD jumping ship or being forced out so soon after starting the job, another high-level administrator was dismissed from her position in October had filed a complaint against her boss the  prior to being removed from her job, it was recently learned
    •    Was this administrator fired for filling a complaint against her boss?
    •    If following the rules and making a complaint against a boss or co-worker means even the jobs of top-tier management are at risk in Walker’s administration, how can other employers feel confident they won’t lose their jobs for bringing up relevant allegations of workplace misconduct?
    •    Complaints are attempts at arbitration to solve an existing problem. If they immediately trigger dismissal of the complainant, how will workplace problems ever get resolved?

“Scott Walker has a history of poor management dating from his disastrous tenure in Milwaukee County. The taxpayers of Wisconsin need to be be assured that government is administered properly. Scott Walker’s DWD leaves troubling questions that suggest malfeasance at the highest levels. These questions must be answered as soon as possible,” Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate said Tuesday.