Who knew 11 rolls of toilet paper could cost $12,801?

That’s how much Rock County paid attorney Shana Lewis to argue for the termination of a Rock Haven nursing home employee accused of stealing TP.

Lewis seemed to think Rock County had an Ultra Charmin Strong case against this employee, and at a Rock County Board meeting June 27, Lewis wielded evidence gathered by a registered nurse who “investigated” the thefts.

But in their zeal to win this case, Lewis and Rock County administrators failed to consider ways to de-escalate this situation before any attorneys got involved.

Thankfully, the county board halted this nonsense, with some members marveling at the $12,801 wasted trying to fire Rock Haven employee Patti Wilbanks. The board voted 19-7 to reinstate her.

Stealing is never OK, but county officials overreacted. Instead of accusing Wilbanks of taking the rolls, Rock Haven administrators should have made clear to Wilbanks they were wise to the missing rolls.

Somebody should have said to Wilbanks, “We seem to be missing toilet paper from the ladies room. Do you have any idea what’s happening? Could you help us figure this out?”

If Wilbanks had been taking the rolls, she likely would have stopped. After all, an employee isn’t likely to risk her full-time job over $10 in toilet paper.

Instead, management started down an expensive road that started with a registered nurse using her valuable time to conduct toilet paper inventories.

Laughable is how we’d describe Lewis’ arguments at last week’s board meeting, as she explained that Wilbanks was seen leaving the “restroom and then the building while holding her jacket in her arms instead of wearing it.”

And what was underneath that jacket? It was, of course, Shana Lewis’ $12,801 paycheck.