“Silence becomes cowardice when occasion demands speaking out the whole truth and acting accordingly.”  Mahatma Gandhi  


Accusations of Non-Violations that could get Burton Fired


The story of false accusations of non-violations deemed serious enough to fire Burton, a sham-investigation and the ensuing cover-ups.  







This story begins where the story of Dean Throop’s outlandishly unfair Letter of Direction ends.

6-6-16 – Burton received in the mail a Letter of Direction (LOD) dated 6-3-16 from Chancellor Shields. (Shields-LOD-6-3-16)   Included with the letter were quite a few printed copies of emails (Shields-LOD-6-3-16-Attachments).        Burton rebuts Chancellor Shields’ ridiculously unfair letter of direction here: ShieldsLOD-Rebuttal.    

Note:  The OCR July 28, 2003 “Dear Colleague Letter”  states: No OCR regulation should be interpreted to impinge upon rights protected under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution or to require recipients to enact or enforce codes that punish the exercise of such rights. There is no conflict between the civil rights laws that this Office enforces and the civil liberties guaranteed by the First Amendment. With these principles in mind, we can, consistent with the requirements of the First Amendment, ensure a safe and nondiscriminatory environment for students that is conducive to learning and protects both the constitutional and civil rights of all students.”    

6-22-16 – Burton drafted a letter to Chancellor Shields that she did not send to him but it explains her concerns.  (LtrtoShields-6-22-16-notsent)


8-8-16 – Rice filed a complaint against Burton. (Complaint-Rice-8-8-16


8-16-16 – Chancellor Shields initiated an investigation against Burton.  (Complaint-Rice-8-8-16)



 8-17-16 – An attorney, Dale Burke, stopped by Burton’s home and delivered a complaint from Deb Rice and asked to schedule an investigation ordered by Chancellor Shields.    (Complaint-Rice-8-8-16)


August 18, 2016 4:06 PM  -  Burke-investigation-scope – Dale Burke asked Burton “I would ask that you not speak with other colleagues/employees/students connected with the university about this investigation so as not to unnecessarily enlarge the scope of this investigation.”  Good luck with that.

August 18, 2016 4:06 PM - Burke-investigation    Burke wrote Burton to touch bases. 

Aug 18, 2016 – a certified letter came to Burton’s home with the same info Burke had delivered.

Fri 8/19/2016 10:44 PM –  - Burke-investigation        Burton wrote to Burke “Are you aware that there is a pending OCR invesgaon into the discriminaon, disparate treatment and retaliaon against me by the UWP administraon, incl. Chancellor Shields?”


 8/22/2016 3:41 PM -    Burke-investigation    Dale Burke wrote Burton an email saying “I'm sure that you are aware that you would be entitled to "discovery" only after and only if there were charges filed against you by the Chancellor. There is no evidence at this point only allegations which is why I was retained to investigate to determine whether there is any evidence to support the allegations or not.”



 August 22, 2016 4:42:14 PM -  Burke-investigation-2 – Burton wrote Burke and pointed out a problem with his investigation.

Mon 8/22/2016 5:16 PM -   Burke-invest-typo-correction – Burton corrected a typo on her previous email.  2015 vice 2016.


8/22/2016 6:15 PM -   Burke-investigation-2  Burke wrote back “If you do not wish to exercise your right to address the allegations made by Rice in her letter and whatever else I may learn between now and my interview with her on September 6, please just let me know and that will be reflected in my report. I am merely offering you the opportunity to be heard in response to a formal letter of complaint that has been received by the university. If at any point you should decide that you would still like to meet, I will do all I can to accommodate your schedule




August 23, 2016 8:38 PM - Crowley-refers-me-to-Hotline-8-24-16   Burton wrote Crowley asking where she could file a complaint against Shields and Throop.



8/24/16 4:43 PM -  Brokenburr-referstoLegal-8-25-16 -  Burton wrote to Brokenburr with a simple complaint about Shields and Throop. 


Thu 8/25/2016 8:41 AM   Brokenburr-referstoLegal-8-25-16  -  Brokenburr refuses to process Burton’s complaint but refers it to UWS Legal counsel for further guidance.

 8-29-16 – Crowley wrote a letter to Burton ordering her to meet with the investigator but she didn’t send it yet. Meeting-w-investigator8-29-16

8-31-16 – Chancellor Shields mailed a letter giving the option to meet. Chancellor-8-31-16-letter  The letter had no date on it.  This was probably so he could later claim he had written it several months earlier.

9-1-16 -  7:51 AM – Crowley sent Burton an email with the letter attached, ordering Burton to meet the investigator. Meeting-w-investigator8-29-16   Attached was Burton_Investigator Meeting_090116   She wrote “you are hereby ordered to meet with the investigator, Dale Burke on September 6, 2016 at 4:30 PM.”  She did not ask if that would be a good time for me.  It was a very bad time.   Because of the timing we were unable to pick up about half of the hay in our field and it got rained on that day.


Thu 9/1/2016 11:23 PM     Complaint-against-Shields-Throop    -  Burton sent an email to Senator Harsdorf with a complaint against Shields and Throop

9-2-16 – Burton received the Chancellor’s letter of 8-31-16 in the mail.  Chancellor-8-31-16-letter



September 2, 2016 1:03 AM -  Burton sent an email To:, Cc:;  Jane Radue;;; Staci Strobl; Janelle Crowley; Dennis J Shields; Dale Burke;; Deborah L Rice. complaintagainstRicetoRegentsHR   Attached was:  Rice Complaint.9.2.16.   ---   Later, on 10-8-16, Burton compiled a list of exhibits to prove her allegations Rice Complaint.9.2.16-withExhibits.   The exhibits Burton planed to give to investigator Burke are in this file:  InvestigationmtgwBurke-10-10-16.    

 Fri 9/2/2016 10:37 PM – Burton sent an email to Burke saying she would meet him.    CrowleyOrderedMeSoIComply


Mon 9/5/2016 10:32 PM – Burton sent an email to Chancellor Shields, cc to many, with an attached rebuttal to Chancellor’ Shields’ letter of 8-31-16  ResponsetoChancellorLtr-8-31-16-email.   Attached was: Chancellor-8-31-16-letter  and ResponsetoChancellorLtr-8-31-16.


September 5, 2016 10:32:42 PM -   Shields-response-9-5-16  - Shields responds to Burton’s letter writing: “You seem to have missed the point of my most recent letter to you. I am not going to engage in written back and forth about whatever allegations you want aired. I am willing to meet with you, with the one stipulation that our conversation not be recorded by either of us, to discuss moving forward in a positive way.  That offer is still on the table. It is up to you to decide whether such a meeting is of any interest to you. “


Mon 9/5/2016 4:42 PM -    Burke-will-meet   Burke writes Burton an email saying he will meet her.


Tue 9/6/2016 9:38 AM -  -   Shields-response-9-6-16  - Shields responds again to Burton’s letter saying:  “I just made my way through your extraordinarily long written response to my brief letter. If you do plan to meet with me you can bring one person with you not three as you indicated. And there will be no recording. I have offered the meeting on my terms. If you do not want to accept those terms then we won't meet.”


Tue 9/6/2016 6:36 PM    -  Burton sent an email to Crowley cc to Strobl with a doctor’s note attached.   DoctorNote-9-6-16

9/9/16 -  Burton saw Dr. Bearse and got a letter asking that the investigation be delayed until she was better able to take it medically.    


Mon 9/12/2016 12:44 PM -  Burton picked up Dr. Bearse’s note from Medical Associates clinic in the morning and then delivered it to Crowley.   Med-Delay-Investigation-email  attached was:  Med-Delay-Investigation

September 12, 2016 1:00 PM -  Lattis is involved  - Crowley forwarded Burton’s doctor’s note to Lattis and wrote “FYI…now what?”

September 12, 2016 1:05 PM  -  Lattis is involved  - Lattis wrote back “I don’t think we can delay the investigation.  Apparently the condition is not such that she cannot continue to perform her other duties and this is one of her duties.  I think you should write to Sabina and tell her that.  However, since we are going to wrap her complaint against Deb in with Deb’s complaint against her, it may also change the time line.”

Was the timeline Lattis was referring to the timeline to fire Burton with minimal damage to the schedule and at the same time to harass her while she was preparing the appeal brief?   Hmm.


 September 16, 2016 3:45 PM   Crowley-investigate-without-you  -  Crowley wrote that the investigation would be conducted with or without Burton’s participation. 

 Wed 9/21/2016 9:59 AM - ADA-accomodation-9-21-16   Burton sent an email to Crowley cc to:  Jennifer S. Lattis <>; Dennis J Shields <>; <>; Dale Burke <>; <>; Kim Kohlhaas <>; <>; Raymond Spoto <>; Staci Strobl <>; Jane Radue <>;  In which she explained that her persistent harassment was a violation of ATA law.   She asked some questions she did not expect to get any answers to.  Attached to the email was her letter from the doctor.  Med-Delay-Investigation

9/22/16 – Shields-letter-9-22-16  -   Chancellor Shields sent a letter to Burton.  This is the same letter that was emailed to her on 9/23/16.


9/23/16 -  Burton received an email from Joyce Burkholder.  Shields-letter-9-23-16  Attached was a letter from Shields Shields-letter-9-23-16-attachment.   In this letter he wrote: “Your complaint dated September 2, 2016, which was presented to System, has been referred back to the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. Some of your concerns were included in a previous complaint that you dropped.  These concerns will not be addressed again and as you know, some of your concerns remain on appeal.  Currently, there are two complaints in queue; therefore, your subsequent complaints will not move forward until the other two pending complaints have been completed by the outside investigator.”

September 26, 2016   Meet-Burke-Oct10 -  Burke wrote asking to meet on Oct 10.  Burton replied that she would meet him.

10-10-16 – Burton met with investigator Burke for the Chancellor’s bogus investigation against her.  It went well and Burke seemed to get her points.  Burke recorded the meeting and Burton recorded the meeting with three devices, Roger was present and recorded it on his cell phone and Burton recorded it on her cell phone and Roger recorded it using a recorder.  The audio from the recorder is audio exhibit A35: (A35-mtgw-investigatorBurke-10-10-16).  

 Mon 11/28/2016 9:14 PM – Email chain:  Burton informed Investigator Burke of evidence she had already submitted and asked to be informed about the status of the investigation.  Burke responded that he had submitted his draft and that he would let Burton know when it was finalized.    Almost a month later Burton asked again about the status of the report.   Burke responded “My understanding is that the report was delivered electronically to Dr. Crowley today.”   Burton asked HR director Crowley for a copy of the report and she wrote back “Your request has been forwarded to the public records custodian.”   Runaround again.   Burton wrote again to Crowley asking to also be provided with the report of the investigation that Dr. Barraclough had written from Oct 2015 (InvestigationReport-request-for).  

11/30/16 – (Access-Denied-Erickson) Burton received a letter from Paul Erickson, Public Information Officer.  He wrote “I have received your records request for investigation report(s) completed by Dale Burke.  I am denying your request because I am prohibited by Wis. Stat. section 19.36(10)(b) from releasing “Information relating to the current investigation of … possible misconduct connected with employment by an employee prior to disposition of the investigation.””  He wrote further “The matters discussed in this investigation report have yet to be disposed of.  Because I have denied your request, I am required to inform you that you may seek review of my decision from the local district attorney, the Wisconsin Attorney General, or through mandamus action in circuit court.” 

Wis. Stat. section 19.36(10) says “Employee personnel records. Unless access is specifically authorized or required by statute, an authority shall not provide access under s. 19.35 (1) to records containing the following information, except to an employee or the employee's representative to the extent required under s. 103.13.”   

Wis. Stat. section 103.13 (2) states: “Open records. Every employer shall, upon the request of an employee, which the employer may require the employee to make in writing, permit the employee to inspect any personnel documents which are used or which have been used in determining that employee's qualifications for employment, promotion, transfer, additional compensation, termination or other disciplinary action, and medical records, except as provided in subs. (5) and (6). An employee may request all or any part of his or her records, except as provided in sub. (6). The employer shall grant at least 2 requests by an employee in a calendar year, unless otherwise provided in a collective bargaining agreement, to inspect the employee's personnel records as provided in this section. The employer shall provide the employee with the opportunity to inspect the employee's personnel records within 7 working days after the employee makes the request for inspection. The inspection shall take place at a location reasonably near the employee's place of employment and during normal working hours. If the inspection during normal working hours would require an employee to take time off from work with that employer, the employer may provide some other reasonable time for the inspection. In any case, the employer may allow the inspection to take place at a time other than working hours or at a place other than where the records are maintained if that time or place would be more convenient for the employee.”  

Erickson seems to have misinterpreted the statute. The administration can’t afford to give Burton the report because it is damaging to their arguments so they are probably forcing (or bribing) Erickson to deny Burton’s request.  Burke probably wrote that Burton was right about everything and Rice lied in the accusations.    

The university is refusing to give Burton the reports that might get her fired and in doing so violate Wis. Stat. section 103.13 (2).    They twist the wording of the policy to make it say the exact opposite of what it actually says.  The statutes are written to ensure that an employee can see why they are being fired before they get fired but the administration is claiming that the statute says that the employee can’t see why they are getting fired until after they have already been fired.  Ridiculous.  


How can they get away with the unending stream of violations of law and policy?


How can Burton address the truthfulness and accuracy of the investigation if she is not allowed to see the report issued by the investigator?  


 After this story was written Burton was finally given access to the reports she requested.  Read the story of the reports in (short story: Debbie Rice v Dr. Burton and Dr. Burton v Debbie Rice ).