A liberal advocacy group is calling for an investigation into emails sent by a candidate for state superintendent of public instruction.
The emails were sent by Lowell Holtz using his account at the Whitnall School District, where he was working as superintendent at the time. In them, he discusses enlisting help or seeks donations for a possible run. One Wisconsin Now is asking prosecutors in Rock and Milwaukee counties to investigate.
OWN research director Jenni Dye said they’re concerned about the possible misuse of taxpayer resources, and whether there may be additional emails they did not find. “We’ve uncovered a handful of instances where he seemed to be using his official email for campaign related business, but those are the only records that we’ve seen,” Dye said. “Through an investigation, somebody else may be able to turn up even more instances.”
In a statement, Holtz said he will take responsibility for his action, if he has done anything inappropriate. “I will name it, own it, and fix it – the same guidelines my father taught me as a kid, and the same principles I apply to issues I confront today,” he said.
Current State Superintendent Tony Evers faced a similar issue during his 2009 campaign, where he admitted to sending out five campaign-related emails using a state account. He agreed to pay a $250 fine.
Holtz came in second in a three-way primary earlier this month, knocking John Humphries out of contention to face Evers in an April election. He has also faced criticism over a proposal Humphries says he made in December, which would have had one of them drop out of the race, in exchange for a highly paid position at the Department of Public Instruction.