6-figure payout for school administrator accused of breaching policy

Public records show that a Wauwatosa school district administrator accused of using her position to direct business to her husband’s employer received a six-figure payout.

Deputy Superintendent of Teaching and Learning Kristin Bowers resigned last month. A FOX6 investigation revealed that she encouraged the school district to contract with the AVID college and career readiness program while her husband, Brett Bowers, was an AVID employee. FOX6’s investigation prompted the district to conduct its own investigation, in which it determined that she violated the policy.

Wisconsin law prohibits “public officials” from using their office to benefit themselves, their immediate family, and organizations with which they are associated. Wauwatosa police are investigating.

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Bowers’ resignation agreement with the school district is a public document. The settlement shows the school district agreed to pay Bowers a lump sum of $75,235.61, which includes paying his salary through the end of the school year and his sick days.

In addition, the school district agreed to make an employer contribution of $13,522.83 to Bowers’ Wisconsin Retirement System account, plus a $28,000 403(b) contribution.

Including pension contributions and lump sum payments, Bowers walked away with $116,758.44.

The agreement promised that the District and Bowers would agree to the District’s public statement regarding Bowers’ resignation, as well as Bowers’ email to staff regarding his departure.

As is customary, the resignation agreement includes a non-disparagement clause and a waiver of legal claims, such as employment discrimination.

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Kristin and Brett Bowers did not respond to a request for comment.

A Wauwatosa School District spokesperson released the following statement: “On January 24, 2022, the School Board approved the voluntary resignation of Ms. Kristin Bowers from the Wauwatosa School District, effective immediately. The District and Ms. Bowers acknowledge that “it had become increasingly difficult for Ms. Bowers to lead and advance the teaching and learning department. Ms. Bowers’ resignation allows the district to move forward and focus on what is is most important: the education and success of our students. The district will immediately begin the process of finding a new leader in teaching and learning.”

Martha K. Merrill