A 40-year-old Madison woman has obtained a temporary harassment restraining order against former Kenosha County Board Member and former Village of Somers Trustee Joseph (Joe) Cardinali. She is the third woman in the last 3 years to obtain a temporary restraining order against the 24-year-old Somers man.
Cardinali boasts several positions within the community on his Facebook page including:
Executive Board Member – Kenosha County Democratic Party
1st Vice Chair – Wisconsin 1st Congressional District Democrats
Vice Chair – College Democrats of Wisconsin
Chair – UW Parkside College Democrats
Cardinali is considered an extremist by local politicians. For example, he was arrested and convicted recently for disorderly conduct in front of the Kenosha Public Safety Building for ignoring commands from police. He recently made a social media post that angered those from the right and left stating “Italian-Americans, especially those in the Midwest (with Kenosha being a very specific example), are by far the most racist ethnic group around.”
Restraining Oder #1
On August 22, 2018 a 49-year-old woman who was working with Cardinali on the Randy Bryce congressional campaign, petitioned for and was granted a temporary restraining order against Cardinali.
In her petition, She stated “Joe has attempted to take me out to places for drinks, and to engage in sexual behavior. After intimidating me with constant reminders that he has ‘power’ in the community I asked him not to contact me any longer. He then began instructing ‘others’ in the party (Democratic) to contact my superiors in the campaign (my job) and tell them lies and untruths about me – that I am a ‘drug addict’ and an ‘alcoholic’ of which I am not.”
She told the court he then began to contact her bosses and told her he was watching her and would do so until she lost her job. He then began to contact her multiple times via voicemail, texts, and emails from multiple numbers at all hours of the day and night. He once told her that she needed to “fuck a young democrat” and “p.s. thinking about you in that dress got me like (picture of eggplant)”
The woman and Cardinali went to court for the permanent order. They both agreed to dismiss the restraining order as she was moving out of the state and he agreed to leave her alone. Cardinali had an attorney who negotiated with the woman who did not have representation.
Restraining Order #2
On August 15, 2019, Cardinali’s ex girlfriend, a 42-year-old Somers woman petitioned the court and was granted a temporary restraining order. She claimed that Cardinali would not stop contacting her and asking for sexual favors after she ended their relationship. He told her that he would get her fired from her job. Like the woman before, he was alleged to have contacted her multiple times a day from many different numbers. He then began calling her workplace. Cardinali sent a letter to her boss saying that she lied on her resume. Cardinali admitted that he allowed her to say she worked at Cardinali’s bakery and that she was an assistant to him as a realtor. She also accused Cardinali of slashing all four of her tires and “keying” her vehicle. They both appeared in court. The commissioner denied extending the restraining order because the Kenosha County Sheriff’s department was unable to link Cardinali with the vandalism. There were no cameras in the area and there was not probable cause for an arrest.
Restraining Order #3
A 40-year-old Madison woman petitioned Dane County Circuit Court for a temporary restraining order last Friday, July 23, 2021 and it was approved by a court commissioner. Cardinali can not have any contact with this woman. There will be a hearing on August 6, 2021 at 8:30am in Madison to determine if the restraining order will be extended for four years.
The Madison woman is a volunteer fire-fighter in Dane County. She told the court that over the last week, she has been harassed by Cardinali. He made demands of her that she didn’t comply with. Like the two women prior, he threatened to get her fired from her job saying, “especially when a Fire union contact of mine has a wide range of resources. May want to start looking for new employment.” Later that day Cardinali texted the woman’s mother saying that if her daughter doesn’t comply with his demand, he will call the daughter’s employer and have her fired.
We reached out to the Madison woman and she told us she didn’t want to talk about the issue.