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UPDATE: Marathon Co. Clerk releases statement on investigation into Facebook comments

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UPDATE: Marathon County Clerk Kim Trueblood has released a statement after the Marathon County Board Executive Committee voted for an independent investigation into comments Trueblood made on Facebook.

The comments were made on a post in Facebook group "Parents for Wausau Schools Reopening."

The statement reads:

"Last night, the Marathon County Board Executive Committee voted to authorize an independent investigation into some comments I made on a Facebook page focused on efforts to re-open the Wausau schools. In the course of a passionate and emotional discussion, words I chose to use have been misinterpreted, and that has led to some unfortunate repercussions for my office, my staff, County Board members, my fellow County employees, and the job I love so dearly.  It is regrettable and heartbreaking that these statements I made have been misunderstood.

"I appreciate the work of all our elected officials, including the school board. I and my office have a proven track record of providing ethical service to every person within our amazing county. My office is completely open and transparent, and any citizen is welcome to inspect any public record at any time.

"In these difficult times, where resources are in such demand to deal with so many needs, I am saddened that my friends and neighbors are spending 25,000 of their dollars to look into a Facebook post. I’m sure that upon reflection, we can all point to a time where we might have worded something more effectively to convey our true meaning.

"It is the privilege of a lifetime to serve the citizens of Marathon County, and I am confident an investigation will show that they can continue to have confidence in the safety and integrity of the election process here in our County. Those values are at the forefront of why I got involved in local government and just a few of the things I hold dear in my position. I value my position and take great pride in my track record of conducting safe and ethical elections. I look forward to working to assure that all future elections are carried out with the high level of integrity for which our office is known."

According to County Board Chair Kurt Gibbs, the investigation "will focus on the facts and circumstances surrounding the Clerk's statements and their impact on the ability of her office to carry out its duties with respect to upcoming elections."

The investigator will report their findings to the Executive Committee and identify options to the county board. The investigation should be complete by August 31, and cost no more than $25,000.

WAUSAU, Wis. (WAOW) -- On Monday, the Marathon County Executive Committee voted to hire outside counsel to investigate comments on Facebook made by County Clerk Kim Trueblood.

The comments were in response to a post made in the Facebook group "Parents for Wausau Schools Reopening."

The original post, made by another member of the group, suggests starting a petition to recall members of the Wausau School Board who are against starting the school year in person.

Trueblood replied to that post, acknowledging here position as county clerk. She wrote, "but I can get info & do anything behind the scenes."

The county committee discussed the comments in closed session, and in open session voted to bring in outside counsel to investigate whether Trueblood's actions and statements interfere with her ability to conduct her duties as an elections official.

Wausau School Board President Tricia Zunker brought up the comments to the county board. Although, she said she did so as a concerned citizen, not in her capacity as school board president.

"I think I can understand from their perspective that they need to bring on outside services to absolutely do a full review, it just unfortunate that we have to spend tax payer money on such blatant violations," Zunker said in response to the county committee's decision.

News 9 also reached out to Kim Trueblood for comment. She said she would have a statement out on Tuesday.

The executive committee expects to have the results from the investigation by Aug. 31.

Sarah McGrew

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