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Elected Kenosha County Officials Can Accept Unlimited Free Gifts : Milwaukee Attorney

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Attorney Jacob Curtis of Attolles Law, S.C. (Formerly von Briesen & Roper, s.c.)
(Photo by Kevin Mathewson)

Kenosha County elected officials as well as the Sheriff may accept gifts of any value, even if the organization that gives the gifts needs those same officials’ approval to operate. That is, at least the opinion of Milwaukee lawyer Jacob Curtis of Attolles Law, S.C. that was paid thousands of dollars by county tax-payers. This announcement came at the end of a more than six month investigation.

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Sheriff Beth (D), County Board Members Boyd Frederick (D), Daniel Gaschke (D),
Sandra Beth (D), and Sharon Pomaville (D)

During a July 20, 2021 County Board meeting, board member Sandra Beth, who is the mother of Sheriff David Beth (D) announced that she and at least four other board members received free all-access VIP passes to Country Thunder Music Festival saying in part,

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.

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After hearing Beth’s comments, supervisor Erin Decker asked the County’s attorney to investigate whether or not there were any violations of county ordinance or state law. County attorney Joey Cardamone contacted Attorney Andrew Philips who is the general counsel for the Wisconsin Counties Association. According to Cardamone, Philips referred him to a colleague, Jacob Curtis who took over six months to investigate. The two worked for von Briesen & Roper, s.c. at the start of the investigation, but the two are seemingly partners in a brand new law firm called Attolles Law, S.C.

These passes entitled the board members to unlimited food, non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages for the entire festival. Although they had their choice of any food and beverage, Attorney Curtis told the county board Tuesday night at a special meeting that board members accepted water and hot dogs “just to stay hydrated” while taking a tour of the festival for official business. He noted that at least two members returned to the festival later and watched concerts, ate and drank, all for free. The type of passes that the board members received are not sold to regular folks, so there is no way to determine the value, however cheaper passes without VIP access cost multiple thousands of dollars per person.

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Attorney Curtis said in part:

“With respect to the two supervisors who later attended concerts, while a “close call,” neither appears to have directly violated the county’s ethics code – the supervisors appear to not have intentionally sought the passes but were given the passes as part of the tours and because the permits were issued well before the tours and the permits for the following year’s festival (so in other words this year) are not considered until late spring early summer it’s either impossible or unlikely receipt of the passes would “influence judgment” which is the key term under the (ordinance and statute.)”

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“With respect to the possibility of a reward it doesn’t appear that the passes were selectively distributed. To any supervisor who attended the tour presumably would have access to a pass whether the supervisor supported or opposed permit issuance (for Country Thunder to operate) with only slight changes in context and facts one could conclude that it would be reasonable to view receipt of the passes as influencing decisions or rewarding behavior.”

“In the future it is imperative that supervisors as well as the sheriff who facilitated provision of the passes consult with corporation council prior to organizing this sort of event.”

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County Board Chairman John O’Day (D) (Photo by Kevin Mathewson)

All of the supervisors accused of violations and the County Board Chairman left out of a employee-only exit and dodged the Kenosha County Eye and the Kenosha News. Curtis wouldn’t take questions from the media. We asked O’Day what his thoughts were on the investigation and he said “no comment.”

You can watch Curtis’ oral report below:

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9 Responses

  1. The Kenosha County Board can search all day long for a high priced attorney that will give them the answer the Board is looking for (at taxpayer’s cost) but at day’s end, it’s still a conflict of interest, period. A court may disagree with this attorney’s opinion.

    1. Kenosha County HR will continue to be totally ineffective in their true, defined roles, and will continue to bully and harass employees— because no one holds them accountable. The HR director stands in front of the board bumbling like an idiot, and they still give her what she wants. She needs to be replaced. She’s totally worthless in her role, and a drain on the taxpayers.

  2. I am sure that every county employee is now looking at the double standard to the employee hand book and the HR directors constant threats of discipline for actions. She clearly has pointed out to employees that even accepting a coffee is a violation of receiving gratuities. She also has threatened employees for discipline for other smaller infractions. This ruling just lost her all the power over employees that she thinks she has. Great ruling for the county employees that she always threatens. This is why people have no trust in the leadership of the county’s personnel. The double standards that have been obvious to the employees and are now exposed to the public.

  3. The Kenosha County Board and Administration have become saturated with self serving libtard grifters! This was clearly a case of bribery and ethical violations; however, in what has become the norm for the O’Day Board and Kreuser Administration, legal and ethical violations committed by supervisors who vote for Jimmy’s programs receive legal cover from the corrupt Corporation Counsel. Apparently ethical and moral standards have been replaced by self serving and blind obedience.
    Fortunately there is a spring election to allow us to cleanse ourselves of these repugnant and corrupt representatives of the tax payers – O’Day, Beth, Pomaville, Gaschke and Frederick!
    And we can finally move on from the stench of corruption that is the Jimmy Kreuser administration!
    Unfortunately we will have to wait until the fall election to finally rid ourselves of the incompetent and corrupt sheriff Beth, but it’ll be worth the wait…

  4. Government employees should avoid any hints of impropriety. When I’ve worked as a contractor for the government the government employees (and us as a contractor) couldn’t even accept a free coffee from a vendor to ensure there was no appearance of any conflict.

  5. Wow, how wonderfully convenient for them all–gee, I am sure it doesn’t affect their performance or how they vote and act in office………every one of these criminals needs to go, now

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