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“That Info Doesn’t Leave this Room” Kenosha Dispatcher’s Felony Arrest Lead to Gag Order From Supervisors – Investigation Released to Public

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Kenosha 9-1-1 Dispatcher Brittney Smith Source: Kenosha Sheriff
Tom Genthner, Former KPD Police Officer and Current Director of 9-1-1 Dispatch Source: Kenosha Police

We reported about a month ago that a Kenosha 9-1-1 Dispatcher was charged with three crimes including a violent felony. The Kenosha DA is going to zap the conviction from her record permanently, raising suspicion.

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The internal investigation documents are now public and we got the first look. Don’t count on the local rag to write a story – it involved work. Here is the timeline:

September 8, 2019 – Brittney Smith is arrested for a domestic battery incident with her girlfriend. Police also smelled marijuana and found some in the house. Dispatch Supervisor Samantha Schlecht tells the 9-1-1 dispatchers on duty, that sent police to Smith’s house “that info doesn’t leave this room”. She later threatened the other dispatchers, saying “if this were to leave the room, discipline would be issued” and “also it does not leave this shift, and I’m not even kidding, they (Genthner) will go to town with discipline if anybody figures out what happened.” One dispatcher pledged that her “lips were sealed” and another that ” (I) will keep (my) mouth shut”. Schlecht then called her boss who told her “make sure no one talks about it.” Schlecht spoke to Smith on the phone and told her “not to come in tonight.” Dispatch Supervisor Chavela Velasquez also told the dispatchers to keep quiet about the incident. Mike Blodgett, communications manager spoke with Director Genthner and Genthner told him that Smith should report to duty as scheduled, “to do nothing. “

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September 12, 2019 – Assistant Director Nielsen and Blodgett interviewed Smith about the incident with a Garrity Warning. This means that if she refuses to answer questions truthfully or at all, she can be fired – but the answers can’t be used against her in her criminal case. Smith admitted to the violence to her bosses and admitted to preventing her girlfriend from calling 9-1-1 (Felony). She admitted to not being cooperative with KPD and holding the door shut when they attempted to enter. She admitted to lying about her girlfriend being a resident of the apartment. She was on the lease and had been living there for some time. Smith also admitted to prior acts of violence. When asked about the marijuana, she denied any knowledge. Smith admitted to using profanity with KPD Officers. Smith was banned from dispatching for Kenosha Police but is still allowed to dispatch for the Sheriff’s department and Fire/Rescue.

October 3, 2019 – Assistant Director Nielsen wrote a memo to Director Genthner recommending a 2-day suspension for Smith. He also recommended a drug test. Having been almost a month, the half life of THC, it likely wouldn’t have been accurate. This recommendation was also concurred with by Bev Sebetic, HR and Attorney Susan Love.

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October 4, 2019 – Director Genthner writes memo to Smith placing her on leave with full pay effective immediately.

January 30, 2020 – Director Genthner places Smith back on full duty. (She was paid for almost 4 months while not working.)

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As of the date of this article, there has been no discipline issued to Smith. If this author didn’t happen to see one of Smith’s court appearances on Youtube, the public might not have known that there is a dangerous woman answering 9-1-1 calls for the tax-payers. We received additional unconfirmed information from a source that Smith made a comment to police that “no wonder you guys are getting shot”. The KCE also received an unverified tip that Smith threatened to stab a co-worker on the shared chat. Genthner is refusing to release these messages.

Alderman Lammachia and Supervisor Gentz

Kenosha Alderman Rocco Lamacchia, who sits on the Joint Services Board that oversees the dispatch center, said in an email to a resident, that he wants to look into this issue. He asked the Chairman, Jeff Gentz, to put a discussion item on an upcoming agenda.

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To read the full investigative file and police report, click here.

Judge Jason Rossell approved this over-generous deal.

Judge Jason Rossell

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6 Responses

  1. I am happy that the Kenoshacountyeye.com exists. There is no journalistic entity in Kenosha. That is why Kenosha is so riddled with corruption. The Kenosha News has been a joke for a generation. It allows this corruption to continue to grow to the point that affects the quality of life in this hellhole of a city. The average Kenosha Joe doesn’t understand that their high property taxes and streets filled with potholes are due to the large amount of tax dollars that the city and county spends on litigation and judgements. The major reason reason they do not know this is because there is no legitimate media to tell them. Their elected officials are co-opted by being given crumbs off the table as they work their way up the corruption hierarchy. Corrupt local government employees who retire are rehired to be sure they keep their mouths shut. You know who you are. Don’t get too comfortable, your days are coming.

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