Wednesday in Whitewater will be mostly sunny with a high of 29. Sunrise is 7:23 AM and sunset 4:24 PM for 9h 01m 47s of daytime. The moon is a waning gibbous with 90% of its visible disk illuminated.
On this day in 1944, German troops at the Battle of the Bulge demand the surrender of United States troops at Bastogne, Belgium, prompting the famous one word reply by General Anthony McAuliffe: “Nuts!”
Corrinne Hess reports Records raise questions over Foxconn project manager’s billing practices:
The project director hired to oversee the struggling Foxconn development in the Village of Mount Pleasant is consistently billing taxpayers for 40 hours per week, but records are unable to account for how all his time is being spent.
Claude Lois is a contracted consultant with engineering firm Kapur and Associates,and he works in Mount Pleasant’s Village Hall. His role as project director has no official job description, and records obtained by Wisconsin Public Radio of Lois’ time card and village-owned calendar do not match.
Lois does not provide public updates to the village on how his time is spent or have a direct boss overseeing his work. Village Administrator Maureen Murphy authorizes his $28,000 per month salary without further documentation. When pressed for further information, Murphy provided WPR with Lois’ 2017 contract.
Murphy said Lois is in the office early in the morning and “working all the time” on new investment projects for Mount Pleasant. She said despite what Lois’ calendars show, there are no discrepancies between what he is billing for and the time he is working on behalf of the village.
“Every month, Claude presents the progress of the Foxconn development to the public, village and state officials, special interest groups, and stakeholders,” according to Kapur’s website.
The site says Lois also represents all local and national press inquiries. But the Village of Mount Pleasant contracts with a Milwaukee-based public relations firm to handle its media requests.
Lois, who bills $175 per hour, is scheduled to get a raise to $200 an hour starting Aug. 21. Lois declined to comment.
As of Dec. 13, Kapur and Associates billed Mount Pleasant approximately $362,000 for 2021, which was largely for Lois’ salary. By comparison, Murphy is paid $108,000 annually, according to the village budget.
Since 2017, Kapur has billed the village about $1.23 million.
On Nov. 1, Lois’ calendar indicates one 90-minute meeting with Foxconn from 1:30 to 3 p.m. The calendar indicates the rest of his day was free, but his time card shows he billed for nine hours of work.
The next day, Lois had one director meeting on his calendar from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m., with the rest of the day free. His time card said he worked 10 hours that day.
Some days Lois’ calendar is filled with meetings, and he bills up to 13 hours. Other days, like Oct. 28, Lois has nothing on his calendar and bills for eight hours, according to the records obtained by WPR.
After serving as the mayor of Burlington in Racine County for four terms and managing the state’s shared revenue program during former Gov. Scott Walker’s administration, Lois began working for Kapur and Associates in 2017. He was named project manager for Foxconn without the village conducting a national search.
When Lois was hired by Mount Pleasant, the Foxconn project still had some promise for the village and the state. But since 2017, Foxconn has fallen short on its hiring and building goals.
In October, the company announced it had struck a $280 million deal to purchase electric automaker Lordstown Motors Corp.’s plant in Ohio. It is unclear what Foxconn’s plans for Wisconsin are.
Lois, a former politician, now finds himself at the trough of a project that offers nothing to the communities he once ‘served.’ Both Lois and Mount Pleasant Village Administrator Murphy should, of course, be ashamed. They won’t be — having come this far shamelessly, contrition will not move them to step away from that trough.
Previously: 10 Key Articles About Foxconn, Foxconn as Alchemy: Magic Multipliers, Foxconn Destroys Single-Family Homes, Foxconn Devours Tens of Millions from State’s Road Repair Budget, The Man Behind the Foxconn Project, A Sham News Story on Foxconn, Another Pig at the Trough, Even Foxconn’s Projections Show a Vulnerable (Replaceable) Workforce, Foxconn in Wisconsin: Not So High Tech After All, Foxconn’s Ambition is Automation, While Appeasing the Politically Ambitious, Foxconn’s Shabby Workplace Conditions, Foxconn’s Bait & Switch, Foxconn’s (Overwhelmingly) Low-Paying Jobs, The Next Guest Speaker, Trump, Ryan, and Walker Want to Seize Wisconsin Homes to Build Foxconn Plant, Foxconn Deal Melts Away, “Later This Year,” Foxconn’s Secret Deal with UW-Madison, Foxconn’s Predatory Reliance on Eminent Domain, Foxconn: Failure & Fraud, Foxconn Roundup: Desperately Ill Edition, Foxconn Roundup: Indiana Layoffs & Automation Everywhere, Foxconn Roundup: Outside Work and Local Land, Foxconn Couldn’t Even Meet Its Low First-Year Goal, Foxconn Talks of Folding Wisconsin Manufacturing Plans, WISGOP Assembly Speaker Vos Hopes You’re Stupid, Lost Homes and Land, All Over a Foxconn Fantasy, Laughable Spin as Industrial Policy, Foxconn: The ‘State Visit Project,’ ‘Inside Wisconsin’s Disastrous $4.5 Billion Deal With Foxconn,’ Foxconn: When the Going Gets Tough…, The Amazon-New York Deal, Like the Foxconn Deal, Was Bad Policy, Foxconn Roundup, Foxconn: The Roads to Nowhere, Foxconn: Evidence of Bad Policy Judgment, Foxconn: Behind Those Headlines, Foxconn: On Shaky Ground, Literally, Foxconn: Heckuva Supply Chain They Have There…, Foxconn: Still Empty, and the Chairman of the Board Needs a Nap, Foxconn: Cleanup on Aisle 4, Foxconn: The Closer One Gets, The Worse It Is, Foxconn Confirm Gov. Evers’s Claim of a Renegotiation Discussion, America’s Best Know Better, Despite Denials, Foxconn’s Empty Buildings Are Still Empty, Right on Schedule – A Foxconn Delay, Foxconn: Reality as a (Predictable) Disappointment, Town Residents Claim Trump’s Foxconn Factory Deal Failed Them, Foxconn: Independent Study Confirms Project is Beyond Repair, It Shouldn’t, Foxconn: Wrecking Ordinary Lives for Nothing, Hey, Wisconsin, How About an Airport-Coffee Robot?, Be Patient, UW-Madison: Only $99,300,000.00 to Go!, Foxconn: First In, Now Out, Foxconn on the Same Day: Yes…um, just kidding, we mean no, Foxconn: ‘Innovation Centers’ Gone in a Puff of Smoke, Foxconn: Worse Than Nothing, Foxconn: State of Wisconsin Demands Accountability, Foreign Corporation Stalls, Foxconn Notices the Noticeable, Journal Sentinel’s Rick Romell Reports the Obvious about Foxconn Project, Foxconn’s ‘Innovation’ Centers: Still Empty a Year Later, Foxconn & UW-Madison: Two Years and Less Than One Percent Later…, Accountability Comes Calling at Foxconn, Highlight’s from The Verge’s Foxconn Assessment, After Years of Promises, Foxconn Will Think of Something…by July, Foxconn’s Venture Capital Fund, New, More Realistic Deal Means 90% Reduction in Goals, Seth Meyers on One of Trump’s (and Walker’s) Biggest Scams, the Foxconn Deal, Adding the Amounts Spent for Foxconn (So Far), Perhaps – Perhaps – a Few Lessons Learned, Foxconn Slips Away in the Night, and A Christmas Gift For, and About, Scheming Development Men.