Some of candidate Walter Milton Jr.'s history a surprise to School Board president

2013-02-05T08:45:00Z Some of candidate Walter Milton Jr.'s history a surprise to School Board presidentMATTHEW DeFOUR | Wisconsin State Journal | mdefour@madison.com | 608-252-6144 madison.com

Madison School Board president James Howard said Monday he wasn't aware of some of the controversial aspects of Walter Milton Jr.'s history until after the board named him a finalist to be Madison's next superintendent.

Prior to becoming superintendent in Springfield, Ill., Milton was criticized for hiring without a background check a colleague who had been convicted of child molestation in Georgia. The colleague, Julius B. Anthony, was forced to resign from a $110,000 job in Flint, Mich., after a background check uncovered the case, according to the Springfield State Journal-Register.

Milton and Anthony were former business partners and worked together in Fallsburg, N.Y., where Milton was superintendent before moving to Flint, according to news reports.

Milton also faced questions in Flint about inaccuracies in resumes he had submitted when he was hired in Flint and Fallsburg.

Howard said he learned about those issues on Monday after reading blog posts and community comments about the finalists being named. He said they did not change his opinion about Milton.

"We don't know what he actually did," Howard said. "This is just part of the information we'll process."

On Sunday after the School Board announced the candidates, Howard said board members were aware of a 2007 audit that found Milton had been overpaid and used a district credit card for personal expenses he hadn't fully paid back. Howard said the board was initially troubled about the financial issues until it realized what had happened. He declined Monday to elaborate until after a superintendent is selected.

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(12) Comments

  1. beresponsibleforyouractions
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    beresponsibleforyouractions - February 07, 2013 1:24 pm
    Shame on the Madison School Board and on Madison School Board President, James Howard, for trusting them with this task. Maybe somebody should look into how politics may have colored this poor decision to make Walter Milton Jr a finalist for Madison, Wisconsin's school superintiendent.
  2. happydays
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    happydays - February 05, 2013 12:41 pm
    I love this city - I don't want to have to leave - but we can't afford to stay here and every day I find another reason why it costs so much - Our administration both city, school board, county - are failures - they cannot run anything - it is alway a mess - a costly mess
  3. nufsenuf
    Report Abuse
    nufsenuf - February 05, 2013 11:47 am
    If these are indeed facts as stated, then there is nothing left to consider. Any one of them is a basis for rejection, in aggregate, this is immediate disqualification. Any further consideration of this man is gross negligence on the part of the board.
  4. persia
    Report Abuse
    persia - February 05, 2013 10:46 am
    Yep, they screen candidates by running the resume/ cv over a metal grate.
  5. Word
    Report Abuse
    Word - February 05, 2013 9:47 am
    Or, they may know the internal candidates and the weaknesses/flaws/baggage that they would bring to the position. If you don't like how Madison schools are going, why would you choose someone who is an entrenched part of the problem and (more often than not) has no experience in other school systems?

    As for this search, declare it failed and someone has some explaining to do.

    Ask the headhunters for a refund/don't pay their fees. Milton's past was easy to find for anyone choosing to look. Hiring headhunters still takes time and doesn't appear to get good results (if this search and the search before it are indicators). Gather a committee of skilled HR people from the community/nearby districts and run it that way. Couldn't do worse and it would be cheaper.
  6. kriley
    Report Abuse
    kriley - February 05, 2013 9:36 am
    If Howard wasn't aware of this maybe we should be searching for his replacement.
  7. moyboy25
    Report Abuse
    moyboy25 - February 05, 2013 9:04 am
    And you leftists are still in denial about the decline in public education. Laughable.
  8. Mr_Deeks
    Report Abuse
    Mr_Deeks - February 05, 2013 8:59 am
    Words cannot describe the level of inadequacy of the Madison School Board. They need only look in the system as there are undoubtedly a number of qualified candidates with local experience and knowledge.
  9. jwalk
    Report Abuse
    jwalk - February 05, 2013 8:28 am
    What a surprise! Goofy Madison choosing to do things the wrong way instead of actually choosing the right person for the job.
    As an employer, this guy would have never made my list of possible hires. Not the city of Madison! They embrace stupid hires.
    The only hiring process used here was to make sure they didn't hire a white male. So typical of Madison...
  10. number6
    Report Abuse
    number6 - February 05, 2013 7:01 am
    Failed search, start over. And this time I guess we investigate the headhunters first.
  11. mister_a_in_madison
    Report Abuse
    mister_a_in_madison - February 05, 2013 6:55 am
    Do those looking for well-paid positions not know how to use Google?

    We had this issue before (http://host.madison.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/maybe-city-should-ve-googled-finalists-for-economic-director/article_1a6f3d7c-9768-5e01-a322-3bcebf3060dc.html), and the search was wisely re-opened.
  12. Jacki Thomas
    Report Abuse
    Jacki Thomas - February 05, 2013 6:04 am
    I'm curious. What was the Ray and Associates firm paid to conduct this search? If the district hires a "head-hunting" firm in Iowa to parse through applicants and conduct recruitment, wouldn't it be expected that they, as part of the process, would at least run a google search when narrowing down the field of candidates and pass along information to the BOE? Of course, I think BOE members should do the same, but it seems something of a sham to have a national firm of recruiters in the field of education conduct a search that doesn't flag an applicant with some of these questionable behaviors.

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