Kenosha Fire-fighter and EMT Kerry Poltrock is on paid administrative leave for the second time in just over a year. He was arrested last summer and charged with 6 counts of domestic abuse after he admitted that he slapped his wife. Then-Chief Charles Liepzig and Deputy Chief Chris Bigley, who is now the Chief placed him on leave for a few months, but ultimately allowed him back on duty, fighting fires and treating patients on the ambulance while still out on bail. His soon-to-be ex wife petitioned the court for a domestic abuse restraining order and it was granted for four years. She told the commissioner he would slap and hit her causing bruising regularly, and tell her “it’s ok for men to slap their wives.”
Even with the extensive evidence, Racine DA Patricia Hanson (R) agreed to drop all charges if Poltrock stays out of trouble until next summer. The Kenosha Sheriff’s department was also investigating Poltrock for sexual abuse of his daughters. Even after Racine Patricia (R) DA told detectives she wouldn’t charge Poltrock for sexual assault, detectives kept investigating the case anyways. It is unknown if the case is still open today.
We spoke with Fire Chief Chris Bigley in mid June this summer and asked him the status of Poltrock’s EMT license through the State of Wisconsin Department of Health Services. He told us he would check with the medical chief and get back with us. He never did and frankly, we forgot about it. We received a tip that he was on leave for continuing to treat patients without his medical EMT license even after he received the notice of suspension. We were also told he failed to notify his chain of command. Bigley did confirm that Poltrock is on paid leave but could not comment further. The Mayor’s office was made aware of this misconduct. According to City Administrator John Morrissey, “the City is waiting to see what the state does with [Poltrock’s] license before we make a final determination.” It is likely that if Poltrock did treat patients while unlicensed, he faces more criminal charges, revocation of his hold open agreement, and subjected the City of Kenosha to a great deal of liability.
We did hear from a spokesman of Wisconsin DHS and they confirmed to the Kenosha County Eye that Poltrock’s license was suspended but didn’t offer any further details. Poltrock also owes close to $40,000 in income taxes which resulted in a tax warrant, and has several recent civil judgments.
Reached by phone, Poltrock didn’t wish to speak with us.
Poltrock isn’t the first Kenosha Firefighter to keep his job after serious criminal charges:
James Adams was charged after choking and punching a fellow fire-fighter at a softball game on In the summer of 2018. The Kenosha Police Department recommended charging Adams with Felony Strangulation and Suffocation, Battery, and Disorderly conduct. Kenosha DA Michael Graveley (D) intervened and only charged Adams with two counts of Disorderly conduct. He pleaded guilty to the two counts and Judge Wagner (D) gave him a fine. He was allowed to keep his job and is still riding fire-trucks and ambulances.
Jeremy Ryan was convicted of Disorderly Conduct after an incident from the winter of 2004 in which he was involved in a drunken bar incident and resisted police , who pepper-sprayed him. He was allowed to keep his job
Andrew Belsky was charged with Soliciting Prostitution and was never put on leave. It is unknown where this charge is in the municipal court system.
This is a story that the Kenosha News has promised not to cover. They haven’t printed anything about Poltrock’s criminal charges, his restraining order, or his EMT license suspension.
We always will tell you because you deserve to know. We will keep you updated on this story.