Kevin Fischer’s penchant for vacation

Kevin Fischer, in addition to being a state employee as a legislative aide to State Senator Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin), fills in on radio talks shows, does an opinion thing on one of the public tv channels, and keeps a blog over at Franklin NOW. It’s the blog that first caught my eye. He kept calling one of the young bloggers there some unusual, frankly down right rude, names.

Fischer’s antics drew the attention of others. He’s enjoying his second write-up in Milwaukee Magazine this month. For disclosure I’m there, too. I say “People like Fischer give Republicans a really bad name.” I mean it. If we want to improve the party’s performance and respect, guys who resort to foul behavior need to take a hike.

Poor performers don’t have a place in the government I fund, I don’t care what side of the aisle they stand politically. Bad policy is bad policy. Bad employees should be unemployed.

The latest in Fischerbowl has to do with his affection towards vacation hours. I did request his time sheets. First it was just three months – and I received October, November and December of 2007. Then I requested another batch and got January to August 2007. I realized September 2007 was missing, so I’ve put in for it. I’m sure it will find its way in the next couple of weeks. I’ve had them for a while, but just tallied the vacation hours last night.

First, let’s go over Fischer’s employment with the state. He started working for Lazich May 10, 2005. He makes $62,004.00 a year. A review of his pay records show monthly checks in an amount of $5,167.00. Multiplied by 12 that is indeed $62,004.

When trying to determine vacation benefits, the senate human resource department sent me to this state benefit site. According to this, as an exempt employee with less than five years employment, Fischer should be using 120 hours per year of vacation. I don’t know if he has prior state employment that would increase the benefit. I do know he was let go from a TV station in October of 1996. Even if he had more, 5 to 10 years is 160 hours, and if he’s worked for the state since 1996 that would be 176 hours.

I’m getting somewhere with this, I promise.

Fischer consistently defends his time spent on WISN and other radio as his own. He takes vacation for it. When he filled in every day the week of 12/3 to 12/7, it’s on the time sheet for 2 hours each day. Lots of other WISN/vacation days line up, too. (He’s got most of the dates on his blog.) The wild thing is, in 2007 – even with September’s number unkown – Fischer claimed (and Lazich signed off on) 209 hours of vacation. Ok, I thought, there’s something I’m missing.

I checked to see if compensatory or “comp” time is used. No, the time sheets all call these hours vacation, even though there is a box for “comp” time. An e-mail to Senator Lazich confirmed that she doesn’t keep overtime hours, so there’s nothing to draw against. Maybe it’s personal time – the site says employees gets an extra 4 1/2 days. Yes, there are actually 5 1/2 days or 44 hours called personal. The state gives 36, so I’ll back 36 hours off. That’s 173 hours of vacation sans September.

Finally I tallied what I had from May to December (without September) thinking maybe it’s a work year and not a calendar year. That’s 157 hours in 7 months. (The personal hours were January through April.) There would still be January to May 9, 2008 vacation hours to consider.

Did Senator Lazich lose track of Fischer’s vacation benefit? There may be a chance that happened. What’s really compelling from this exercise is the discovery of how much vacation and personal time is available to state employees. Regardless of legitimacy, Fischer took off over 5 weeks in an 11 month period. In addition there were a couple of sick days and the holidays listed on the site.

Obviously, not bad work if you can get it.

I’ll get all of the time sheets on line once September comes in. Maybe by then I can clear up how many years Fischer has worked for the state and the actual time he has available for vacation. If it doesn’t all come together in a couple of weeks, I’ll just have to keep trying until it does. There are too many unanswered questions to shrug my shoulders and walk away.

Here are the monthly vacation tallies for 2007 as reported on Fischer’s time sheets:

January – 8 (personal)
February – 16 (personal)
March – 20 (12 of 20 personal)
April – 8 (personal)
May – 8
June – 8
July – 28
August – 12
(No September yet)
October – 12
November – 69
December – 20

There’s one last thing I noticed. Kevin Fischer didn’t sign his own time reports all of the time. Only 7 of the 11 carry his distinct swirly “F”.


  1. The Belling show is three hours long. How can he only declare two hours on the days he worked the show? What about travel time?

  2. I don’t even pretend to get his arrangement. Maybe he’s not very good with numbers.

  3. Lazich Constituent 2 says:

    “Maybe he’s not very good with numbers.”

    He and the Senator have so much in common.

  4. Cindy, here’s something interesting…state benefits such as vacation are calculated from January to January, so my understanding is that sometime in January of each year, Fischer should get an allocation of hours to use as he sees fit throughout the year. I’d be curious to hear an explanation as to how Fischer has so many vacation hours to burn, especially considering he can only carry over 24 hours from year to year, unless legislative aides have different rules than other state employees.

  5. Those vacation hours are the great mystery in my life right now. (I know, I’m kind of dull.) I bet I’ve asked 6 people, and no one knows. I do have a request worded rather generally to get the hours, but I seem to bump into “not my record” or some such response. I’ve also asked to view an employment contract without any result.

    So, how many aides are there in our system and is the deal as sweet as it looks from here?

  6. Wilson828 says:

    Let’s get to the bigger picture of this issue. It’s time for Lazich to retire. She’s ineffective, and a non contributor to meaningful state government. Where was she yesterday in New Berlin, her home city, when they announcement the Water Compact? MIA is what Lazich is all about. She does nothing and never has. It’s time for someone with some spine to run against her and force her into retirement. Cindy, how about you? You’d be a good state senator. A lot of people would help you.

  7. Sorry Wilson, I don’t live in the district. Besides, Mayor Jeff Speaker lied to thousands a couple of years ago and pretty much trashed my reputation among the uninformed voters.

    I was just telling my husband tonight how weird it was to realize that I wouldn’t ever be running for office again. (AND, I don’t think we was too sad about my conclusion. It was pretty hard on this family when things got so nasty.)

  8. Fred Huncosky says:

    Ever think maybe Mr. Fischer has vacation time that maybe left over from years past? Or maybe Mr. Fischer has worked for the State of Wisconsin longer than 5 years so is eligible for more than 120 hours of vacation?

    Please assure me you did this Ms. Kilkenny because I would hope that you would only put up well researched stories not ones done without all of the facts being checked.

  9. Fred Huncosky says:

    Please assure me you double checked to make sure that Mr. Fischer hasn’t worked more than 5 years for the State of Wisconsin so is thereby not eligible for more that 120 hours of vacation time a year. Also please tell me that you made sure Mr. Fischer did not have any vacation time left over from 2006 that he rolled over to 2007.
    I am sure as you are a responsible blogger you double checked all of this information before posting this story. Correct?

  10. All of the information as written is factual. If you read carefully, you will see that I showed where there might be more hours available if he worked longer than the start date supplied by Lazich’s office. A comment suggested that there may be hours available from the previous year, but those haven’t been disclosed.

    I double checked the information I had – triple checked in fact – and will provide the time sheets once September is available.

    Are you suggesting Fred that something else is going on other than very generous vacation benefits to a state aide? While I wrote that Lazich’s office could have lost track of the vacation benefit, I quickly explained the piece was about the quantity of free time available to someone working in a taxpayer funded job.

    If you can speed up the information delivered on this specific subject, that would be great. I don’t think you’ll be able to disprove that Fischer claimed, and Lazich approved, at least 209 hours of vacation time in 2007, however.

    Care to weigh in on the non-Fischer signatures?

  11. “Also please tell me that you made sure Mr. Fischer did not have any vacation time left over from 2006 that he rolled over to 2007.”

    Even if this were the case, my understanding is that only 40 hours maximum can be rolled over from one year to the next, and those hours have to be used within the first 6 months of the year they were rolled over into.


  1. […] us with the latest installment of his Idiot Politician of the Week. Cindy Kilkenny investigates Kevin Fischer’s vacations at Fairly […]