Contract $98,000; Benefits $30,000
Wis. DPI Supt. comp. $121,307
Cost per student Mercer $20,146,
Wis. $12,942, Nation $10,667
ACT comp. score Mercer 17.0,
Wis. 19.6, Lakeland UHS 20.0,
Hurley 18.7; perfect score 36.0
Mercer DPI Report Card score
lowest of all 422 Wis. schools

Monday, April 8, 2019

Details of the Charges
Details of the criminal felony charges against three present Mercer School Board members, Deanna Pierpont, Noel Brandt and Micki Holmstrom, and two former Board members, Kelly Kohegyi and Denise Thompson, have been spelled out in Iron County Circuit Court filings by Lt. Matt Foryan of the Iron County Sheriff’s Department.  Lt. Foryan is the complainant in all five criminal cases.
The charges against the five are considered Class I felonies and upon conviction could carry penalties for each of fines of not more than $10,000 or imprisonment of not more than 3 ½ years, or both.
Pierpont is charged by Lt. Foryan with destroying a public record, the video recording of the October 2017 annual Mercer School District meeting, which he said involved some profanity and a confrontation.  He cites sec. 946.12(2), 939.50(3)(i) Wis. Stats. “Misconduct/Office-Act/Excess Authority, in that Pierpont in her capacity as an officer of the School Board, ”did an act which the officer knows is in excess of the officer’s lawful authority or which the officer knows the officer is forbidden by law to do in the officer’s official capacity.”
Lt. Foryan also pointed out in the complaint that Pierpont told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that she had erased the video.
An additional charge against Pierpont and the other four defendants relates to a May 1, 2018, letter to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.  Lt Foryan charged that Kohegyi and Thompson, owner of Tom’s CafĂ© in Mercer, signed the letter as members of the Mercer Board of Education, when, in fact, they were not members at that time.  They did knowing that their “right so to act had ceased, exercise a function of a public office, contrary to sec. 946.69(2)(b), 939.50(3)(i) Wis. Stats,” he stated.  Lt. Foryan also pointed out that Kohegyi was defeated in the April 2018 School Board election, and that Thompson had been off the Board since April 2016.
The charges against Pierpont, Brandt and Micki Holmstrom, owner of Century 21 Pierce Realty in Mercer, stem from their signing the May 1, 2018, letter along with Kohegyi and Thompson, knowing that they were non-board members.  It is forbidden by law to exercise a function of public office knowing that his/her right to so act had ceased,” Foryan charged.
Lt. Foryan had been investigating the possible violations since last June when a number of Mercer residents met with the Iron County District Attorney Matthew J. Tingstad to voice their concerns.
Of course, all five defendants must be considered innocent until proven guilty.



  1. The tip of the iceberg?

  2. Have the Print/TV press gotten a hold of this story yet?

    1. Duluth's Channel 10 had it in 5 and 6 p.m. news tonight. It will probably be back on at 10 p.m.

  3. YES, Brundage, Minisan and Pierpont, the charges are real, despite your usual attempts to mislead people. And, NO, Christa and her group were not the whistleblowers, but some other honest and well-meaning citizens who want to clean up this ugly school board-administrator affair.

  4. Has it occured to any authorities that unless the contracts of these administrative staff members specified that they were entitled to performance bonuses, the giving and taking of this money is illegal? And money taken that could have been put twards roof replacement? Money that a good administrator would have put towards infrastructure. This money should be paid back. Pierce should follow Brandts lead and resign. This group has done enough damage to our community

  5. Does anyone know who wrote the letter? Was it even a school board member?

  6. Asking if there was a published meeting with this on agenda? Was there an illegal meetup or illegal electronic meeting to compose, agree and sign?