A second lawsuit was filed in Kenosha Circuit Court last week alleging that the Kenosha County District Attorney, Michael Graveley (D) is illegally withholding evidence of misconduct from employees of his staff. We asked Graveley to produce the personnel files of two employees of the office that are believed to have committed misconduct.
Assistant DA Emily Trigg.
In 2015, Trigg was involved in the prosecution of Caroline Prieto, a Kenosha woman who was charged with shaking a baby she was caring for and causing permanent brain damage. Due to the prosecutions’ repeated defiance of a court order, the prosecution had to drop charges and Prieto walked. Judge Kerkman made the right call in this case. Unfortunately, he took the criticism, but defendants do still have rights that need to be upheld by the judiciary. To this day, the public does not know if Graveley discipline Trigg. Graveley was the Deputy District Attorney at the time and did have the authority to discipline her. We wanted to know if he did and to what extent, so we asked Graveley for all the disciplinary documents in her personnel file. She recently resigned her position.
Victim Witness Advocate Rhonda Borh-Mrnak.
In 2017, a victim witness advocate with the DA’s office named Rhonda Bohr-Mrnak, allegedly threatened her stepdaughter with a gun and slapped her. This caused the judge to “slap” her with a 2 year restraining order, barring her from having any contact with the child. Again, no one knows if she was disciplined for these incidents. We asked Graveley for all of the disciplinary documents within her personnel file.
Kevin Mathewson, editor of the KCE, has requested and received somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 personnel files in the last 5 years. From cops, to department heads, to corrections officers, and many more government employees. Under Wisconsin law they are absolutely public records and must be released.
Graveley denied release of both requests and his reason states in part:
“What rational person would want to work at the Kenosha County District Attorney’s office, if they believe documents from their personnel file, including disciplinary documents, will end up online accompanied by deceptive and degrading commentary? Any qualified diligent hard working employee would seek employment elsewhere.”
In essence, the reason for his denial, is that he believes we will release the information to the public with deceptive commentary. We have invited DA Graveley on multiple occasions to point to any factual errors in any of our stories over the last year. He always refused. At one point we had made a minor typo in a story and Graveley was quick to email us and correct us. We immediately ran a correction. We often offer our opinion on matters which is just that, our opinion – something that cannot be “fact-checked.”
Mathewson hired Wisconsin’s top public records attorney Thomas Kamenick of the Wisconsin Transparency Project. Tom has successfully sued republicans and Democrats alike. The letter in parentheses after a politician’s name is irrelevant to Tom. What he does care about, are the Wisconisn statutes involving public records and meetings. Tom previously worked for Wisconsin Institute of Law and Liberty (WILL) as deputy counsel. He has won many major public records cases, including four at the supreme court level.
A separate lawsuit filed by Mathewson in August, is still being litigated in Walworth County. In this suit, Mathewson alleges that Assistant District Attorney James Kraus, who happens to be Emily Triggs husband, violated a longstanding Supreme Court rule and a local Court rule, and Graveley refused to turn over evidence of this misconduct. Graveley and Kraus admitted to a state investigator with the office of lawyer regulation that Kraus did in fact violate the rules. The OLR declined to charge Kraus because they stated it was a minor violation, but they did tell us that they gave him advice on how to avoid this type of misconduct in the future. All Kenosha County judges are expected to recuse themselves and it will be sent to Racine or Walworth counties to be litigated.
One Year Anniversary
In August of 2020, Mark Zuckerberg banned Mathewson from Facebook for life. This made a lot of political insiders and corrupt politicians in Kenosha very happy. Even Deneen Smith(D), the ultra-liberal reporter for the Kenosha news reported on Twitter how happy she was with this decision. Deneen has been making public records requests all over the state looking for dirt on Mathewson. She came up empty-handed.
Mathewson used Facebook to expose inner governmental misconduct and other ethical behavior since his election to the city council in 2012 and 2016. Without Facebook to get his message out, Mathewson founded this website in September of 2020. Because of the support from the fine people that read this our news, we have been able to earn dollars from ad revenue to initiate lawsuits like these and hold the government accountable here in Kenosha County.
So in closing, we would like to thank all of the taxpayers that read our articles and give their feedback. We would like to thank all of the whistleblowers and other folks that give us information and we pledge to always keep your identity anonymous at all costs. It’s been a hell of a year and we are excited to continue to shine a light on the wicked for years to come.