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Retired Kenosha Police Lieutenant “Let Go” From School Board Meeting Security After Speaking Out Against Masks

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Retired KPD Lieutenant Dave Molinaro Speaks at School Board Meeting on January 25, 2022
(Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

***Article updated 3/13/2022 at 8:09pm to include a comment from Board Member Tony Garcia***

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The Kenosha Unified School District Board has scheduled a special meeting for this Tuesday, March 15, 2022. One familiar face won’t be seen – at least, not in his usual blue “security” reflective vest. He is KUSD Security Officer Dave Molinaro. He recently retired from the Kenosha Police Department as a Lieutenant after a 32-year career. Molinaro is an A.L.I.C.E. instructor and has worked for KUSD for some 15 years in a security role. Even after retiring from KPD, he stayed employed with the district as a security officer for a middle school here in Kenosha. He was also assigned as one of a two-person security team at the Educational Support Center where the School Board meets. His duties at such meetings were to keep the school board members and public safe. Molinaro would also walk people to their vehicles after meetings if they requested. For example, Tanya Kitts-Lewinski, the Kenosha Teacher’s Union President frequently asked Molinaro to walk her to her car. Even though he seemingly disagrees at times with the union, he was happy to walk her to her vehicle even though there have been no documented threats against her. She also disagrees with retired police officers like Molinaro from carrying a weapon on school grounds. State law, however is very clear. On duty, off-duty, out-of-state and retired law enforcement officer can carry on school grounds as long as they keep up their certifications. Molinaro and the other law enforcement security officers do maintain the requirements – we checked.

On January 25 the KUSD School board met to talk again about the mandatory mask policy. Molinaro removed his security vest and spoke against the mandatory masks. He criticized some members of the board saying that they “need to stop kow-towing the (Kenosha Teacher’s Union)….. Covid stops at 4:00pm at unified, and it starts again at 8:30am in the morning” said Molinaro, referring to the optional mask policy for after-school activities. “Those students there become my children, but I’m not going to tell them to go get vaccinated.”

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Two minutes and thirty seconds later he put his vest back on and resumed his security duties about 6 feet from the podium. A second officer working security on the 25th is a retired KPD detective and was watching the front door to the building. Molinaro is usually seen in the western door-way of the board room, where he has a clear view of the entire board room and down the hallways.

Yesterday, a KUSD insider told KCE under the condition on anonymity, Molinaro was”let go” from school board meeting security. He was seen entering and leaving a KUSD administrator’s office.

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Kenosha School Board President Yolanda Santos-Adams presiding over 1/25/2022 meeting
(Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

We spoke to KUSD Board President Yolanda Santos-Adams who confirmed what we were told saying:

“Several board members (including myself) were not happy that our hired security officer, assigned to duty at the front entrance, not only made citizens comments while on duty, but also spent most of the evening in the boardroom doorway watching the entire meeting.”

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Santos-Adams also told us that Molinaro will still be working at the Kenosha-area middle school and that the district has received positive feedback about his performance in the school. “Perhaps in the future we may request his services, again. But for the short term, we will offer the opportunity to other personnel interested in providing this service to see if the level of security improves” said Santos Adams.

KUSD School Board Candidate Eric Meadows

We spoke to KUSD parent and School Board candidate Eric meadows, who openly supports ending the mask mandates. “It’s not hard to assume that this dedicated law-enforcement officer was let go specifically because his comments made to the board were opposed to the mask mandate and therefore against the board’s position. If he had spoken in favor masking, would Ms Adams have exerted undue influence to get him dismissed?  I highly doubt it. He needs to be brought back on the job. I find it telling that Ms Adams thinks relegating a security officer to ONLY protect kids at a school is a downgrade in duties. Protecting children is FAR more important than protecting the adults. Her priorities are completely backwards.”

KCE received many notifications from KUSD parents that were irked about losing Molinaro and his experience. For example, Bill S emailed KCE and said “I do believe Molinaro would not have been fired if he would have agreed with the board,” said Bill S of Kenosha, who didn’t want us to publish his last name.

KCE reached out to school board members Tony Garcia and Todd Battle, who sometimes disagree with the President. Battle did not wish to speak with us about this issue, but Tony Garcia told us:

“As per your question, I have nothing to do with it.   Thanks for the update. I did not know that he was reassigned till now. Yolanda is the one who make this decision without the consent of the board.”

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8 Responses

    1. Dave Molinaro has more integrity than any of those school board members! I hope he sues them for his job back! Anyone with a brain knows masks don’t work! Kids need to loose the masks!

  1. From my perspective, this officer had every right to speak and say whatever he wanted. However, he should have taken the night off and done so only when he was fully and completely off duty. He should be relieved of his duty no matter what he said. Taking off you vest at a meeting in which you are hired to be as a security guard to speak does not put you “off duty.” He gives up his right to speak at any meeting at which is hired to work. It doesn’t matter what he says.

  2. So, Watcher, it’s almost like you’re saying public servants and public employees should do their job and not let personal or political beliefs get in the way. I say let’s fire Yolanda then too.

    1. Basically that is what I am saying. The security guard’s job was to provide security. It was not to speak. If he wanted to speak, he should have taken the night off so he could have been a citizen, and not a paid security guard. Had he done that, he had every right to say anything he wanted.

      His job is completely different from a school board member. They are elected to make decisions and it is part of their job to express their opinions, even if we disagree with these opinions. If we disagree, we vote them out.

      This is pretty simple.

  3. When DESPOTISM takes hold, personal liberties are suspended and individuals are cancelled. The last I checked KUSD was a Public entitiy and Santos-Adams and the board were Public Servants. Seems that Santos-Adams and certain board members think that KUSD belong to them and not the citizens of this district. Its obvious Santos-Adams and others perceive themselves as Civil-Masters, a common ailment in Liberal run Public Entities. Time to retire these despots that have forgotten who they represent and work for and replace them with caring, respectful, and responsible citizens.

  4. The last streamed KUSD meeting I saw teachers and or their representatives were dropping the F bomb and spraying hand sanitizer all over the podium. But that was acceptable in the eyes of our childrens “educators”, and this is somehow an offense.
    OUTRAGEOUS

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