County board members call for zoo director to be fired

Following news reports Tuesday about the settlement made between a former UW–Madison researcher and Dane County, 26 of the 37 Dane County Board supervisors sent a memo to County Executive Joe Parisi calling on him to terminate Vilas Zoo Director Rhonda Schwetz’s employment effective immediately.

“The zoo is a prized community asset that requires us to hold leadership accountable for their conduct that should be above reproach,” read the memorandum.

Under the settlement, Dane County must pay $500,000 to the former employee who accused Schwetz of sexually assaulting him during a 2018 work trip to Seattle and later retaliating against him for reporting it. Schwetz has continued to deny the allegations against her.

Parisi’s office did not respond to requests for comment.