This summer, Kenosha Sheriff David Beth (D) was at Country Thunder when he was accused of being intoxicated and using excessive force while arresting a young woman. He also ran over a man in a vehicle with a front-end loader. He told the officer who took the crash report to alter her police report. Beth refuses to talk about these very serious allegations. The Kenosha News refused to touch the subject. Sheriff Beth is friends with the Country Thunder Owners and was given many thousands of dollars in free stuff. He was given all-access, VIP back-stage passes and wristbands for unlimited food and drink (including all alcohol) for every day of the festival. He invited all of the county board members to come and “take a tour” of the Sheriff’s operation center. Four board members – his mother Sandra Beth, Boyd Frederick, Sharon Pomaville, and Daniel Gaschke were all given the free food/drink wristbands and all-access backstage VIP passes. Other supervisors were present, but insisted on paying their own way.
Incredibly, on July 20, 2021 during the county board meeting, the Sheriff’s mother told her colleagues about all of this free stuff she and the others received.
She said in part:
“I would like to have your permission to report on country thunder. Several of the supervisors did attend – Supervisor Gaschke and his wife, youth and governance, Brook Smith. Supervisor Boyd Frederick, Supervisor Zach Rodriguez, Supervisor Sharon Pomaville and myself. We had a lovely tour.
The country thunder went very well this year. There were only, I believe seven arrests – there were many violations but none as serious in the previous. We had a tour of the medical area, the fire department area. We went backstage where the entertainers were. We were given whole weekend passes to everything on the grounds free of charge including our food and liquid and we went to the camping areas we went to the rental tent areas and we got to meet the owners of country thunder and everyone was extremely gracious to us. We went to the sheriff’s command center and they explained how 911 worked and all the officers and then we got to see the heavy steel fencing that protected the different areas of country thunder and we’re told that this is the fencing that was used in downtown Kenosha during the riots and so it was very educational and very beneficial to us.”
Here is the video of her speech.
Board Member Daniel Gaschke’s wife posted on her Facebook account and tagged her husband saying “I got to tag along as well, and we were given backstage and all-access passes to go anywhere today, tomorrow, and Sunday.” Below is a photo of the post.
Immediately after Sandra Beth told the board and the public about the obvious ethical violations, long-time board member Erin Decker spoke up. “Just to clarify, supervisors were given passes/tickets to the Country Thunder?” To which, there was a very long silence in the room. No one answered or spoke for a long pause. She continued, “I would like corporation counsel (county lawyer) to look into that to that to to see if it’s a violation of our ethics ordinance.” Country Thunder depends on the county board’s approval every year in order to obtain the proper permits to operate. This can certainly be seen as a bribe to taxpayers.
The County’s ethics ordinance 19.06-1(2), requires the county to refer a request for an investigation to an outside counsel when an alleged act has occurred. With that, the County retained an expensive law firm, von Briesen & Roper, s.c. We spoke to Attorney Jacob Curtis who confirmed he was the investigator in this case. Curtis is a former Policy Director for Republican State Senator Duey Strobel. After that he worked as associate counsel for the conservative group Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty, and was later appointed to the Wisconsin DNR to be its Chief legal Counsel. The law firm he now works for is charging many hundreds of dollars per hour to the Kenosha County taxpayers. Has has interviewed the involved parties and reviewed the video of Beth’s speech and the Facebook posts. Still, this incident is “under investigation” according to county attorney Joey Cardamone. We asked Attorney Curtis if he was asked to delay the findings for political reasons. He didn’t answer. Neither Cardamone, nor his boss, County Executive James Kreuser will tell us why it’s taking so long. Two of the board members, Pomaville and Beth have decided against running again – we’re told because of this scandal. Two others, Gaschke and Frederick have decided to run for reelection and have opponents in this April’s election. It would be beneficial to these incumbents to have the results delayed another three months. We reached out to the Attorneys at von Briesen & Roper, s.c. and they refused to talk. We also reached out to Country Thunder multiple times in the last several months. They refused to comment. We reached out to Sheriff Beth, Supervisors Beth, Frederick, Pomaville, and Gaschke and none of them agreed to give an explanation. If not for Beth’s admission on video and Gaschke’s social media post, the public might not be aware of these egregious ethical and moral violations. Let’s hope that the investigation results are forwarded to the County before the April Elections.
When the report comes out, we will get it and share it. We will also publish the price tag.