Bruce Murphy
Murphy’s Law

The Strange Life of John Menard

A lurid legal suit against him is the latest chapter in the retail billionaire’s bizarre life.

By - Jun 20th, 2013 01:22 pm
Menards. Photo by Mike Kalasnik.

Menards. Photo by Mike Kalasnik.

Nowadays,  John Menard has become infamous for the titillating legal case filed against the then 73-year-old business man whom Forbes magazine rates as the world’s 16th wealthiest man, with a net worth of $10.9 billion. The suit accuses the Menard’s hardware chain owner of “intentional inflection of emotional distress, battery, attempted battery, assault, attempted assault” against Tomisue Hilbert, the wife of Stephen Hilbert, a longtime business associate of Menard’s.

“On multiple occasions,” the suit claims, “Mr. Menard touched Mrs. Hilbert and demanded both directly and indirectly, that Mrs Hilbert engage in sexual activities with him and his spouse.” Menard warned there would be “severe financial consequences” if Tomisue (pronounced Tommy Sue) refused him, the suit contends, and some time after this, “Menard made good on his threats and began an orchestrated campaign to cause severe financial consequences against Mrs. Hilbert.”

Menard’s attorney, Kevin Tyra, denies all the charges.

The case comes not long after another embarrassing suit by Menard’s former legal counsel Dawn Sands, the sister of Menard’s former girlfriend Deb Sands. This case went all the the way to the Wisconsin Supreme Court, which upheld a $1.7 million judgment against Menard for past wages he owed her. Dawn Sands had charged that Menard “is a man without paramenters, no limits, no respect for the law, and obviously, no self-discipline to control or limit his own behavior.”

Menard and Stephen Hilbert were longtime friends who met through their love of auto racing; Hilbert’s company, Conseco, provided $10 million in sponsorship to Menard’s racing team. In 2005 Menard and the Hilberts created MH Equity Private Equity, essentially becoming business partners. Menard had an 80 percent stake, and the Hilberts 20 percent. Stephen was the fund’s president and CEO and his wife was the fund’s managing member.

In those palmy days, the Hilberts hosted Menard and Deb Sands (then his fiance) at their home in St. Martin and at Donald Trump’s estate in Palm Beach, FL. The Hilberts were apparently friends of the Trumps. Donald’s wife Melania Trump had worked closely with New Sunshine, a holding company created by Private Equity to market a line of high-end luxury skin products. Melania appeared on television promoting the product line, which was supposed to be sold in Lord & Taylor stores.

But in February 2013, Menard succeeded in convincing a Wisconsin court to oust Hilbert and turn the equity fund over to him. Menard then sent a letter to the Trump Organization canceling the contract with New Sunshine. Mrs. Trump has filed a $50 million claim for damages against Menard. Donald was apparently so miffed that he tweeted a column I wrote for Milwaukee Magazine on Menard.

Menard is also in a legal war with Lisa Trudeau, the wife of former Indianapolis Colts quarterback Jack Trudeau. Lisa had worked for Australian Gold, another company managed by Private Equity. Once Menard took it over, she was sued for $1.5 million for breach of contract and fiduciary duties.

But Lisa Trudeau has filed a counterclaim contending Menard fired her in April “because of Mr. Menard’s desire to harm Mr. and Mrs. Hilbert and because Mrs. Trudeau had rebuffed Mr. Menard’s… sexual advances.”

Trudeau is a friend of Tomisue Hilbert, whose suit claims that Menard knew Trudeau well and “had previously groped her breasts and had caused her to dance sandwiched between Mr. Menard and his wife while on the dance floor and had suggested they have sex.” (By this time, Menard had married Fay Obiad, who had replaced Deb Sands as his girlfriend and married Menard in 2008).

As I said, it’s lurid stuff. Tyra told the media Menard “categorically denies the inappropriate conduct Mrs. Hilbert alleges. Ms. Hilbert’s complaint appears to be a reaction to Mr. Menard’s justified actions” (taking over Private Equity).  The Hilberts “mismanaged the assets and resources entrusted to them, and incurred wildly inappropriate expenditures,” Menard has charged through his attorney.

Adding to the weirdness, both Tomisue Hilbert and Lisa Trudeau have the same lawyer, Indianapolis attorney Linda Pence, who told the Indy Star that Menard “has a strange history thinking he can get anything he wants…This man has a well-documented history of disregard for people, particularly women.”

Menard owns more than 280 home-improvement stores in 14 states and the company he started from scratch is based in Eau Claire, WI. His high-handed manner of running the company was detailed in a 2007 feature story for Milwaukee Magazine written by Mary Van de Kamp Nohl that I edited. The story reported that Menard’s managers had to sign agreements to be personally penalized for things that go wrong. For instance, having 15 carts in the parking lot drew a $10 fine. And the fine was $100 per minute if they opened a store late.

Managers were forbidden from building their own homes, to ensure they couldn’t steal any building materials from Menard’s. And Menard hired private investigators to check whether employees who undertake even minor home-improvement projects were using pilfered supplies.

Menard was aggressively anti-union and had a policy that managers’ pay would be cut by 60 percent if their store became unionized, former managers said. And all managers had to sign an agreement requiring them to go to arbitration – not the courts – if they had a dispute with the company. “Moreover, they’d have to pay their own attorney’s fees and half the cost of the arbitrator, even if Menards was found at fault,” the story reported.

A columnist for the Minneapolis Star Tribune once described Menards’ manner of handling an employee as “something exhumed from the Bronze Age with all its primitive logic intact.”

A copy of the employment agreement for managers was leaked to Bill Lueders and The Progressive magazine: it stipulates that “The Manager’s income shall be automatically reduced by sixty percent (60%) of what it would have been if a union of any type is recognized within your particular operation during the term of this Agreement.”

The employee who leaked the contract said the agreement is required for all management staff, Lueders wrote, and added that the threat was effective: ‘The mere mention of the word ‘union’ is a workplace taboo.’”

The National Labor Relations Board, in response to the Progressive story, found that Menards committed multiple violations of federal labor law. The NLRB found merit to five of the eight complaints. It determined that the clause threatening a 60 percent cut in pay for a manager who lets a union be established was a violation, but took no action, as Menard’s has already removed this language from the agreements. But the NLRB also found Menards was violating labor law by requiring employees to sign arbitration agreements that preclude them from engaging in concerted activities, including class action suits. The ruling could require the rewriting of employments agreements with all of its 45,000 employees.

Menard was a major donor to an anti-union program run by the Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity and is also among the donors who’ve given at least $1 million to the Koch Brothers, according to Mother Jones, to help supports its conservative and anti-union causes.

Nohl found Menard and his company had more run-ins with state Department of Natural Resources than any other Wisconsin company. Menard and his company were ultimately fined $1.7 million for 21 violations. Menards was fined for disposing hazardous waste in 1994, charged by the Minnesota Attorney General in 2003 with manufacturing and selling arsenic-tainted mulch, fined $2 million in 2005 for having a floor drain that DNR officials believed was dumping chemicals into a tributary of the Chippewa River, and hit with an administrative order from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for damaging a stream that ran through its property in South Dakota.

The company extended its string of violations in January 2011, when it was ordered to pay $30,000 in fines and court costs for dumping a pallet of herbicide on a parking island.

But Menard has seen an end to such enforcement actions since Republican Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker was elected. Menard, according to Michael Isikoff, chief investigative correspondent for Yahoo News, “wrote more than $1.5 million in checks”  to the conservative Wisconsin Club for Growth (run by the ever-busy Eric O’Keefe), which spent generously on ads supporting Walker, helping him survive a 2012 recall election.

In the two years since that donation, Isikoff reported, “Menard’s company has been awarded up to $1.8 million in special tax credits from a state economic development corporation that Walker chairs,” the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. “And in his five years in office, Walker’s appointees have sharply scaled back enforcement actions by the state Department of Natural Resources — a top Menard priority.”

Perhaps the classic example of Menard’s style was a 1997 violation, when he was caught using his own pickup truck to haul plastic bags filled with chromium and arsenic-laden wood ash to his own home to dispose in his household garbage.

The incident illustrates Menard’s pinchpenny thriftiness, which Nohl described at length and is echoed in Hilbert’s lawsuit, which claims the billionaire rarely carried cash and his credit cards were often declined. The Hilberts often ended up footing expenses for Menard and his guests, the suit alleges.

Details in a 1998 tax case showed the chief financial officer for Menard’s was then paid just $55,702 while John Menard was pulling in $20.6 million in annual compensation. His general counsel Dawn Sands claimed in her successful suit that she was grossly underpaid and was the victim of gender discrimination. In addition to her claim for $1.78 million in back pay, Sands had asked to be given her job back at Menards, but the state Supreme Court instead referred the case back to a lower court to decide on additional compensation for Sands because “no reasonable person” would want to return to work there, the decision noted.

Hilbert’s suit claims Menard objected to paying his girlfriend Deb Sands $20,000 per month as general counsel for Private Equity and told Mr. Hilbert that “I’m not paying that much to her sister.” Hilbert agreed to reduce Deb Sands pay to $10,000 per month, the suit notes.

After Menard fired Dawn Sands and she sued him, Menard ended his relationship with Deb Sands and insisted that Hilbert fire her, the suit notes.  “Menard claimed that her monthly retainer could be used to help her sister Dawn pay attorneys in the lawsuit against Menard,” and so Mr. Hilbert agreed to terminate Deb Sands, the suit alleges.

Deb Sands has filed her own lawsuit against Menard, claiming she was entitled to a portion of his assets because they had co-habited for almost eight years. In reaction, the suit alleges, “Menard and his lawyers engaged in a scorched earth strategy against her, filing multiple counter-claims and hundreds of motions, resulting in an expensive lawsuit that is now in its fifth year of litigation.”

At least six business associates of the Hilberts have so far been sued by Menard or the companies that Menard took over from them.

Nohl described Menard as a workaholic and lonely man with few friends who was estranged from his children. Hilbert’s suit says Menard told Tomisue that he no longer liked working and was tired of pleasing his customers, and wanted to live his life fully and fulfill his sexual urges. This was during his stay at the Hilbert’s home in St. Martin on Memorial Day weekend in 2011.

On that weekend, Menard “demanded that Mrs. Hilbert join both him and his wife (Ms. Obiad) for sex after her husband went to bed,” according to the lawsuit. Tomisue returned to her bedroom and told her husband of Menard’s advances. “Mr. Hilbert believed that Mr. Menard’s judgment was impaired because of alcohol, that he could not be serious, and he would likely forget about it following a good night’s sleep,” the lawsuit recounts.

But over the next two months, the suit contends, Menard made more requests that Tomisue join him and his wife for sex, including two offers to travel to Wisconsin, all of which she rejected. Menard’s conduct “constitutes an invasion of Mrs. Hilbert’s human dignity and human worth” and has caused her “severe emotional distress,” the suit charges. The case is expected to go to trial in April 2016. Expect plenty of reporters to cover it.





Categories: Murphy's Law

56 thoughts on “Murphy’s Law: The Strange Life of John Menard”

  1. East Slider says:

    John Menard-Sex Party Machine!!! I especially like the part about how when the woman kept rebuffing his advances for sex with Menard and his wife, he figured that maybe throwing in a free trip to Wisconsin might put him over the top with her! (probably a trip to Eau Claire nonetheless!) Maybe the WI tourism board can work this in somehow to new promotions!

  2. Stacy Moss says:

    I always make sure to keep my breasts at least ten yards away from billionaires.

  3. Karen says:

    Women should refuse to shop at Menards. This guy appears to have no moral compass.

  4. Frank says:

    Seems like somone is out to get Mr. Menard’s money. I don’t think he’s that stupid. I find it funny this was brought up AFTER he fired the Hilberts.

  5. Big Davve says:

    I often have the same reaction as Frank when hearing stories like this, I wonder how much is true and how much is just an attempt to clean some of the excess cash of some rich person’s wallet. Yet, hearing many of these rather crazy stories about Mr. Menard over the years, I’m thinking it might be true this time.

    I’ve known a couple of people who’ve worked as managers for Menards over the years and they’ve told stories that back up much of what’s been written here and in other articles about the rather strange corporate culture they have there, its almost like a cult, where you have to give up so much of your life outside of work for whatever the company wants you to do, or you’re gone! Yes, their managers are paid well compared to other similar positions, but apparently you’re basically owned by the company from that point on and always told how replaceable you are as well. I’m not at all against “giving your all” for an employer and have been called a workaholic myself, but it sounds like much of what goes on behind the scenes at Menards is just plain WEIRD!

  6. big Afro says:

    So, somewhere between the exit of longtime gf/fiance Deb Sands and the arrival of alleged sexual harassment victim Tomisue Hilbert, John Menard acquired a wife, who is evidently into three-ways?

    If so, a character introduction seems to be missing from this lurid narrative.

  7. Ecnative says:

    Yes it does sound extraordinarily preposterous ! But I can tell you I know lots of people who worked for him, and the strange demands and costs to work there are real. He has an enormous ego, a tremendous sense of entitlement and no regard for humanity, let alone the environment . It’s not really a stretch to think he treated these people like this. Yet, the city (the city council people) of Eau Claire treats him like royalty who can do no wrong. His management style seems eerily similar to the governor .

  8. Dan Armstrong says:

    I remember reading in the Journal Sentinel about the parking lot herbicide dumping incident. I also remember thinking that in terms of his behavior this must be the tip of the iceberg. This article puts the rest of the iceberg in view. Steer clear.

  9. Zach says:

    Good to know all this. I think I will be sticking to FleetFarm or Farm & Fleet for these sort of purchases from now on; I wanted to support a midwest business by shopping at Menards but I can’t justify giving this arsehole any business, ever again – or at least until Menards is sold to someone who turns the place around.

  10. Frederick Brown says:

    I used to be a good customer of Menards but no longer. When I found out that he is supporting Walker I decided other companies would get my money.

  11. Casey says:

    Frederick- so just which home good stores’ corperate leadership does not support Walker or his ideas?

  12. jake says:

    I’m no Longer shopping there. What a sleaze, I suppose why they like Walker.

  13. Casey says:

    Jake- Do you boycott other business just because you find their leaderships’ personal lives sleezy? I’m not condoning this man’s actions by any means but if we start making our shopping decisions based on corperate personalities we’d all be doing a whole let less shopping.

    You’ll say “buy local” I agree but just because a business is local doesn’t mean that it’s owners’ ideas will be inline with yours.
    Someone on here said they’re boycotting Ma Baasch because there’s a Walker sign in the window….ok…so what herring will that person buy now? Walmart brand Vita? Yeah…that’s really moving up on the scale of shopping ethics…

  14. BT says:

    That’s why I ONLY shop at businesses that still have one of those faded out old blue fist signs in the window, you know back from those halcyon days of The Siege Of Madison! Menards-NO WAY!!!! ABC Building supply and that dastardly old billionaire bitch who thinks that just because she and her late hubby worked their asses of to build a great success story she can toss half a mil to fend off the blue fist, screw her too!!!

    Hey, actually does anyone know where I can buy ANY building supplies that don’t come from some dirty Walker lover??? I sure hope old man Bliffert is a blue fister, I’d feel really stupid if he’s not, since I could be saving a hell of a lot of money if I’d just go to that dirty old man Menard’s store or ABC and the billion dollar bitch, but hey that’s what quasi-socialism’s all about, paying a lot more for no good reason!

  15. Joe says:

    You can see the crazy inherent in Menards from the moment you walk through the door. With their separate entrance and exits, turn stye, returns counter, and checkout counters arranged in an extremely paranoid way. Add the security cameras and when you pick your head up and really look at the way the place is designed you can tell there is no trust in their customers. I feel like a refugee under occupation in there.

    Add to this the requirement for employees to take an anti-progressive conservative indoctrinating “civics class” and the contributions to “Wisconsin club for growth” which promotes the abolition of environmental standards and working standards, Menards melts into the weird Billionaire assault on the poor, which makes no sense to me. Does he not realize that as he continues to support policies that suppresses wages while dismantling the social safetynet that less and less people will be able to afford to shop at Menards?

  16. Mimi says:

    I think Menard is not only a sleeze but the biggest chicken around. Who else would monopolize a town by buying any place that he thinks his competition might buy and wasting the space with storage. Who else would threaten to close his distribution center if we let the competition of Home Depot or Lowe’s in. Not only close it, but threaten to shut it all down, not sell it pay taxes on it and let it rot. Well Johnnie boy you can take your billions and stick em where the sun don’t shine. I wish you would get the hockey puck out of Eau Claire and let some companies in who treat their employees with respect in. You products are cheap and crappy I hate Menards. I think whoever initially denied your loan when you first started knew what was to come. Hey buddy Karma is a $itch and I can’t wait to see her Rip you apart

  17. Greg Jacobs says:

    And you wonder what Walker and the Menards have in common. It all about power and it does not matter what it takes to do it screw the little guy or anyone else in your way.

  18. kathleen moses says:

    he is an evil evil man,who gained initial success and continues to take advantage of negating “gentlemen agreements” to the surprise of his victims.
    yes he is paranoid but plenty of people really are out to “get him”.

  19. BT says:

    Ok, so Menard’s mega, mega rich (so for all of the MORONS out there who last few years started tossing in the usual sneer about “those one percenters” here’s a good example of who those idiots ought to really be screaming about-THE .00001%, vast majority of one percent is more like some guy that worked ass of to now own a couple of gas stations or whatever) and he likes threesomes, especially with wives of biz contacts, blah blah blah-maybe he should join whatever awesome swingers club they must have up in Eau Claire!


    On top of one credible RAPE AND SOMETIMES FORCIBLE RAPE story there’s been, we get excuses from the same fools like the feminists who say EVERY allegation is a credible one, even that totally wasted girl still in the ER ought to have her story heard they say!!! (and I agree oj that one, or else it will sooner or later just be open season on drunk women and th emillions of other reasons they MUST

  20. BT says:


    Wait until more of the Jeffrey Epstein stuff comes out, maybe ol Bill was raping young girls too!!!!!!!!!

  21. Ortish says:


    Either way its wrong… Both are very wrong… Both should be punished if they are similar, menard is manipulating peoples lives past just the couple he wants to have sex with… He even manipulates the city of Eau Claire, saying he would withdraw every store and DC inside of Eau Claire if another home improvement company shows up. I wouldn’t put it past him that he gives everyone these ultimatums that are involved in his life one way or another.

  22. Brian says:

    Hey “BT”
    How much did John Menard pay you to clog up the comment section of this article? Wow! He is one paranoid SOB. R-E-L-A-X.

  23. BT says:

    Well Brian, you got me, I confess that yes John Menard hired me to do my usual excellent job of smokin the libs and clogging up this and any other comment section on any negative article related to John and his new full time career as the “Eau Claire Super Sex Machine” (his title) apparently based on a referral from the Koch Brothers. They were having one of their regular pow wows where they discuss furthering their plans to make themselves many more billions while completely ruining the lives of everyone with a net worth of less than nine figures (which is why they’re all ironically HUGE Obama supporters now, since even the IRS own data shows that Obama has benefited only ONE ECONOMIC GROUP-THE SUPER, SUPER RICH!) and I guess Menard mentioned to them during one of the lunch breaks how he needed someone for this and of course they sent him my way!

    He said that of course he has no time for this work, not because of running Menards, but because he’s putting 80 to 100 hours a week minimum into his “Bang Bang 2015 Tour” but also how he tried having one of his office people comb the comment sections every day and it never worked out very well, which of course is quite surprising to both of us when you consider that nearly all liberal thought and ideology goes no deeper than what you could fit on a bumper sticker! It is tough work though and that means he needed a real pro!

    He’s not paying me in cash or check though, my rates nearly gave the old cheapskate a heart attack, but instead its payment in something far more valuable. I’ve never been a big porn fan, even with literally endless free porn of all types now on the net, it just didn’t do much at all for me-until I saw some of his “personal collection”!

    WOW!!!!!! Talk about a true SEX GOD, once you see a tape of the Eau Claire Super Sex Machine having at it with two or more middle aged, backwoods women of northern WI, you WILL be hooked!!!!!!

  24. Barney says:

    I worked for Menard’s one summer during college. I built pole barn roof trusses with two other employees, a dirt-floor pole barn had several teams in each. We worked 6 days per week, ten-hour days. There was no running water, no sink, only a water cooler. No bathrooms, we had to use two outhouses which were out between some other pole barns, in direct sunlight. They would be over 100 degrees in the summer, and absolutely stinking with feces, covered with flies. They were just regular outhouses over huge pits. The smell was unbearable, and then you had nowhere to wash your hands.

    I couldn’t believe the conditions, but it was a summer job so I toughed it out. The poor guys I worked with had to do this work in the winter, with no heat in the pole barns. This was in Eau Claire. They offered me a raise if I stayed, because I did do good work. The other two workers and I would get stoned every morning, and we built more trusses than the other teams. Being baked was the only way to handle this horrible job.

  25. John Everyman says:

    Not a single confirmed, proven fact in any of the lawsuits by Hilbert or the QB’S wife. Not ONE. And yet this story is written as if it is all true and you idiots lap it up. John Menard is one heckuva hard-working, successful dude and bottom feeders want a piece of everything he’s worked hard to get. That is what America is all about these days: eat the rich and live off of their success. This reporter and the rest of you morons should be ashamed.

  26. rnprn says:

    Since the $1.5 million donation came out, there is a very big social media campaign to BOYCOTT MENARDS.

  27. mrlynmon430 says:

    So True! I have been employed with Menards for many years.

  28. Kay abbers says:

    Regardless of what is true and what isn’t, it’s your choice to work there or don’t. If you CHOOSE to work/shop there then stop complaining about it. Do your job, collect your pay check, and go about your life. If your not happy there, quit – it’s your choice to be there. If you don’t work/shop there, then why does it bother you if others do. Who cares if he has funky sex interests? If only you knew about some of the crazy things other people do. Big fricking deal if he made unwanted advances on some woman. The only reason we are hearing about it is because he is rich.

    I worked for the corporate office for about 10 years and hated it, but it was my choice to be there. When I was ready to quit, I did. I never once complained about working there. It paid my bills and I CHOSE to be there. Who cares if they make their managers do odd things, if they don’t like it – find a different job.

  29. Emt69 says:

    #27 may be fake. Otherwise, it’s interesting that she takes the term “wage slave” super-literally, and doesn’t mind going back to the olden days of serfdom and indentured servitude.

    It’s breathtaking how super rich bozos like Menard treat Obama like a Muslim anti-Christ against freedom while behind the scenes they are far far far more atrocious.

    Finally, urban milwaukee should get with the program and seriously police and edit out the truly nutball comments.

  30. Teddy says:

    There is a wonderful economics lesson in all of this – work really hard while disregarding the law, the environment, your employees, your spouse and your business partners all while watching every move with paranoia- this should be taught at every business school in the country- it is the american dream! mr menard is a cordial man, an american entrepenaur extraordinare- hollow and empty… Wallowing in his own fragile psyche

  31. Dennis Hackman says:

    I’ve worked for Menards, Home Depot, and Lowes. Menards is by far the best place to work. Home Depot by far the worst. Menards treats their employees better and is a lot more organized. Home Depot is all about impressing the district managers and above. Menards puts the customer first more than the other two.

  32. Joe Larson says:

    I worked for Menards 22 years, the only truth I read in this story is the part about John being driven and working long hours. I often put in 14 or more hours every day and John was working when I started at 6 am and still there when I left at 8 pm. He was making sure that the thousands of employees he had given employment to, had materials and equipment to work with. The story about his disposing hazmat in his garbage is false, a new employee placed treated lumber in the boiler furnace and when John found out he had us shut the furnace down and bag the ashes. He took the ashes home and spread them in a pine tree farm he owned. Even though the DNR said the concentration was not enough to cause any harm they fined him 1.2 million. The DNR came in one day with guns drawn, demanding to see all the records on the hazmat materials used to treat lumber, everything was in order. They blamed Menard for pollution cause by Hot Mix PAvers a company that was there before Menard set up his treat yard there. They dumped drain oil and fuel oil there for years before Menard set up his operation and that’s was where the pollution came from. To give you an idea of what kind of mane he is, 6 years after I left his employ, I hard a heart attack with no insurance, he heard about it and picked up the bill for me, $187,000. Yes he had marriage problems, you try working 18-20 hours a day and see how long your marriage lasts. John is a great guy and his children love him even if they could have used more lap time. I consider him my friend.

  33. rnprn says:

    Boycott Menard’s! This pervert will learn nothing until he has to suffer financially.

  34. WashCoRepub says:

    I shop at Menards whenever I can to support a great Wisconsin & American entrepreneurial success story! A great employer to have here in our state.

  35. Lynn Schiller says:

    I won’t be shopping at Menard’s.

  36. Vincent Hanna says:

    Just because someone worked hard to build a successful business and is from Wisconsin doesn’t mean they are a good person worth supporting. That certainly seems to be the case here. No contest pleas to multiple felonies. Accusations of long-term sexual harassment and repeated threats to a friend’s wife for refusing to have a threesome with him and his wife. Those are not exactly normal marriage issues Joe Larson. He sure doesn’t sound like a great guy.

  37. Andrew says:

    I haven’t shopped at menards since the late 90s when a 16 year old girl was groped and offered money for sex by mr menards at a store in Janesville. This isn’t about “libs” or “1%ers” and using such terms just shows how little you want to think and rather just blame everyone else.

  38. Jaimcb says:

    Thanks for the article, Bruce. I didn’t know why we were boycotting Menards, haha, but I decided to trust my husband on that. To those who believe we should not hold accountable businesses whose owners’ personal lives are mired in sleazy accusations, I agree. I think we should hold them accountable for their business practices, how they treat their employees and contract agreements, and how they treat the environment. The sleazy stuff just confirms that Menard is unable to make ethical decisions.

  39. Dan says:

    Billionaires trying to become wealthier on the backs of the Working Class. Even than their unhappy. Like that WITCH looking owner of ABC Supply. Scott the boy puppet Walker gains from these type of privileged ego maniacs.

  40. Daniel says:

    Morons, A manager cannot buy a house, That’s Communism not Conservatism You Voters must be ignorant, illiterate, brain washed easily. Perhaps Wisconsin belongs next to Mississippi

  41. Brock Samson says:

    I’ve always felt that John Menard should have a nice statue put up to commemorate all he has done for the City of Eau Claire … the Menard Charities, the Menard Hospital Trust, the Menard Scholarships, the Menard Endowed Chairs at UWEC, the Menard Womens and Childrens Shelters, the Menard Public Forest Reserve, the Menard Concert Hall.

    The statue would consist of a beetle-holed Chinese shipping crate plopped down on top of a couple of Menard cinder blocks, and on the side it would proudly stenciled “Honoring Eau Claire’s Biggest, Plywood John”.

  42. ejf says:

    If all these claims were true, john menard wouldnt have or have had the success he does. you dont turn into a groper overnight and every accusation is hand in hand directly with his buisnesses and buisness relationships. maybe im crazy if noone else can make that connection.. menards is the all around great store, every location is tip top shape and welly managed, i could imagine he is very strict with many rules. thats what it takes for that kind of success, now just imagine how many people blow things out of proportion to get their hands in his wallet. put yourselves in his shoes for a day and see how you do.

  43. Jon says:

    The really dangerous American fascist… is the man or woman who wants to do in the United States in an American way what Hitler did in Germany in a Prussian way.

    The American fascist would prefer not to use violence. His or her method is to poison the channels of public information. With a fascist the problem is never how best to present the truth to the public but how best to use the news to deceive the public into giving the fascist and his or her group more money or more power… They claim to be super-patriots, but they would destroy every liberty guaranteed by the Constitution. They demand free enterprise, but are the spokesmen for monopoly and vested interest. In an effort to eliminate the possibility of any rival growing up, some monopolists would sacrifice democracy itself.

    Their final objective, toward which all their deceit is directed, is to capture political power so that, using the power of the state and the power of the market simultaneously, they may keep the common man or woman in eternal subjugation.
    — Henry A Wallace, Vice President 1944

  44. Alex says:

    As a former Menards employee, the stories about Menard make too much sense. To provide an example, I’ll give a quick anecdote about a coworker of mine. He had worked at our store for about a year, and was known as a decent worker who did his job and kept his mouth shut. Last summer, he decided to move on with his life. He notified the head of HR more than two weeks in advance detailing that he would be quitting. She proceeded to go on a rampage at him, yelling at him and saying that he was a “terrible person who would f*** over the next company he worked for.” This guy was a low level shelf stocker, not some sort of high up manager. Her behavior was so bad that the on duty GM and department manager had to step in to stop her. It’s this sort of unprofessional and just straight abusive behavior that Menard has seemed to instill in parts of his own company. Of course a single arbitrary event from a single person doesn’t reflect the entirety of the situation, but there are many more examples that show how Menard has shown himself to be a uncaring, unthoughtful owner of a company that really doesn’t care about it’s employees much at all.

  45. wisconsin conservative digest says:

    what is this? national enquirer, Star, BS weekly?

  46. Jaime McBrady says:

    Hahaha, WCD, and who the eff are you?

  47. Amazing story for passing the time at fires 😀
    I have never seen or heard such stories about Meards,
    Great store and great employees,

  48. wisconsin conservative digest says:

    This is so stupid just an bunch of heresay and stupidity/ he is nothing like Bill clinton, it is his business. Bruce I owe nothing to Menard but getting into this is beyond your caliber.

  49. Louie Louchart says:

    In the early 2000’s I was installing an equipment modification in a Michelin Franchise in WI. it was after midnight. I realized I didn’t have the fittings I needed. The franchises owner says no problem I have a friend at a hardware. The store employee took care of me. I got my parts. The franchise owner was up and running. Everyone was happy. Years later I was an engineer on a NASCAR race team. Paul Menard won the race and the “Store employee joined him in victory circle.” You guessed it, John Menard.

  50. Me456 says:

    Idk what’s really going on with the upper management at Menards / Midwest Manufacturing, but it’s plan to see that they honestly don’t care about their entry-level employees or the people they employ that have a life outside of work. This is the first time I’ve ever worked for a company/business that MANAGEMENT just care about there self bonuses. Working at this place is a joke, you should never have to kiss ass or sign anything like what this company is making or persuading there employees to do, I can’t even go to the Restroom without having to clock out. I intend to more investigating on John Menard and his Billion Dollar Franchises: Menards/Midwest Manufacturing.

  51. Mike Brookshire says:

    I have often wondered why Menards refuses to have more than two electric ride carts for handicapped people. In Topeka, Kansas they are down to one; one is broken down. Having read about Menards, the comment about “no longer wanting to please customers” and his selfishness answered my question. How sad. Home Depot, Lowes, all grocery stores, etc have sufficient electric carts for customers needs. A multi billionaire can afford enough carts. I waited at Menards in Topeka yesterday for an hour and gave up because their ONE cart never became available. I guess Menards hasn’t figured out that customers who need carts are actually customers, who spend MONEY. Wake up Menards and teat your fellow human beings with respect!

  52. GFY says:

    I just started working here as an extra job, and it seems they hire men of the same caliber since I’ve already had to put two in their places. Typical redneck store with redneck mentality.

  53. Wisconsin Conservative Digest says:

    GFY, what a jerk. Working for me, would fire you. what is Redneck? Guy who works out side and gets Redneck from sun: lumberjacks, cops, farmers, constructions, unions etc. have more brains and work, then jerks like you.

  54. MKE Kid says:

    Only nine minutes past noon and WCD is already hitting the sauce. #SAD

  55. GFY says:

    Oh and wouldn’t it just break my poor lonely heart, Wisconsin *Conservative* (key word) Digest. Because your employment review would absolutely make or break the rest of my life. Remember I said extra job. Meaning use em and dump em. PS: should I have used the words hillbilly, white trailer trash, Trump loving, unshaven, filthy, low-mentality walks of life instead of redneck? Sorry about that. They’re all interchangeable to me. Maybe you didn’t get the gist of GFY, which you and Menards can safely do anytime.

  56. GFY says:

    Oh and pps: it was EXTREMELY difficult to read your redneck, unpunctuated, linguistically shaken comment. Sixth grade education does not age well.

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