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Alderwoman demands chancellor resign over husband’s conduct

September 18, 2018

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — An alderwoman says University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Chancellor Beverly Kopper’s husband groped her and that Kopper should resign because she either knows or should know that her husband sexually harasses women.

UW System President Ray Cross in June banned Kopper’s husband, Pete Hill, from campus in response to allegations that Hill had sexually harassed several women dating back to 2015. The president also stripped Hill of his job as associate to the chancellor, an unpaid position.

Hill has denied any wrongdoing.

University spokeswoman Sara Kuhl told the Wisconsin State Journal newspaper for a story Tuesday that Kopper has no intention of resigning.

UW-Whitewater spokesman Jeffrey Angileri didn’t immediately reply to emails Tuesday inquiring about how to reach Hill or his attorney, or whether Kopper had any comment.

Whitewater Alderwoman Stephanie Goettl Vander Pas posted a lengthy letter to Kopper on Facebook on Sunday. The alderwoman said she met Kopper when she was 19 and that their association led to her attending parties and dinners. At one such event — Vander Pas doesn’t say when or where — a girl took Vander Pas aside and warned her to be careful of Hill because he “didn’t keep his hands to himself.”

One night, Hill told Vander Pas’ now-husband that Vander Pas was with the wrong man, everyone knew the husband-to-be was in love with someone else and plenty of other men would like a chance with Vander Pas.

“I hope you understand that you put him in those rooms with me, your position gave him access, and my alma mater made me a target,” Vander Pas wrote.

During one encounter with Hill, she said he slid his hand up her skirt, down her back, down her skirt “and then to a place I can still feel that hand,” she wrote.

“I felt guilty for wearing a skirt, like city council members should know better,” she wrote.

She doesn’t say where or when this encounter took place. She demanded that Kopper step down, accusing the chancellor of knowing who and what Hill is.

“I refuse to hold you harmless for my pain and the pain of others — because you put us in his path — and you either knew or were irresponsible enough not to know. For that, we deserve better,” Vander Pas wrote.

UW System spokeswoman Heather LaRoi said Tuesday the system has launched a new investigation into Vander Pas’ allegations.

Vander Pas did not immediately reply to an email Tuesday seeking more details. An automated greeting said her voicemail was not available. Her letter was removed from Facebook Tuesday morning.

Republican state Sen. Steve Nass of Whitewater issued a statement Tuesday calling for Kopper to quit.

“At this moment in time, I can see no positive future for UW-Whitewater under the leadership of Chancellor Kopper,” Nass said.

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Follow Todd Richmond on Twitter at https://twitter.com/trichmond1

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