A UW-Green Bay official facing questions about whether he retired and took his old position back so he could collect a salary on top of retirement benefits plans to step down in December, the school announced Friday.

The search for Tom Maki's replacement will be launched within the next two weeks, UWGB Chancellor Tom Harden said.

Maki, the school's vice chancellor for finance and business, has been under intense scrutiny for the past week after WISN talk radio show host Mark Belling reported Maki retired from his post in mid-March only to be re-hired by Harden a month later to the same position. The move allowed Maki to start collecting his $131,000 salary along with his retirement benefits, estimated to fall somewhere between $40,000 and $70,000 a year.

State law permits re-hiring recent retirees as long as they're out of a job for 30 days and they don't set up a deal before they leave that they'll be re-hired.

Rep. Steve Nass, R-Whitewater, chairman of the state Assembly's higher education committee, drew attention to the re-hire when he canceled a hearing on a bill that would allow UWGB and several other state schools to raise tuition until he got answers about Maki's situation.

The state Department of Employee Trust Funds then launched an investigation into whether Maki ever really left his job. Harden said the day the investigation began that Maki never cleared out his office, though that was because Harden's assistant filled the vice chancellor spot temporarily.

Harden has said he did everything properly. He wanted Maki back because Maki was extremely experienced and could help lead the school through deep cuts in state aid laid out in the state budget. He has acknowledged he didn't launch any search for other candidates or post the position, choices within his power.

The school issued a statement Friday saying Maki had decided to work through Dec. 16 or until his replacement is hired. He is paraphrased in the statement saying the decision was based on "personal considerations and his desire to best serve the University."

Harden defended the re-hiring in the statement, saying he followed policy and saved thousands of dollars in employee benefits, since they're already covered through their retirement plan. 

Nass aide Mike Mikalsen said Nass plans to keep the tuition bill in limbo until UWGB complies with his request for documents related to Maki's retirement and re-hire.

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