According to Channel 3000, Wisconsin Republican gubernatorial nominee Tim Michels is angrily denying a new report that his construction business had a culture of extensive sexual and racial discrimination.
"Michels Corporation has a sterling reputation as one of Wisconsin’s great family-owned businesses with women in positions of leadership. Several generations of the same families — men and women — work their entire careers there," said Michels in a statement. "Shame on Governor Evers and others who are trying to destroy the reputation of a great Wisconsin company for political purposes. These smears defame a great company, all in the name of politics. There’s no place for that garbage here ... These smears are a desperate and disgusting attempt to distract voters from Tony Evers’ many failures."
The earlier report, from CBS 58, detailed an alleged pattern of mistreatment of women and people of color at Michels' firm.
"Federal court documents reveal three former female employees separately sued Michels Corporation in 1998, and twice in 2012, claiming they faced repeated verbal and at times physical abuse, and some were pressured to have sex with male coworkers," reported Emilee Fannon, noting that one woman was forcibly grabbed in the crotch by a superior and threatened with relocation if she rejected him, and another was given "a sex toy and pornographic images" on her birthday. "The company was also sued by workers who were Black, most recently in 2020, over allegations of racial hostility including a report of a noose found near a jobsite. The Brownsville construction company currently employs more than 8,000 employees."
This is not the first time that Michels, who defeated former Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch for the GOP nomination after an endorsement by former President Donald Trump, has lashed out at the media over an unflattering story.
After a report earlier this month that Michels and his wife's charitable foundation gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to anti-LGBTQ and anti-abortion groups, including one that physically tracked the locations of abortion patients with cell phone data, he lashed out at the reporters behind the story, accusing them of "anti-religious bigotry" and calling the media "corrupt."