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Kenosha County Eye

Ousted Pleasant Prairie Village Administrator Paid $160,000 Lump Sum – Seemingly “Hush Money”

Former Village of Pleasant Prairie Administrator Nathan Thiel

In a confidential document obtained by KCE titled “Mutual Separation Agreement and Release”, we have learned that the Village of Pleasant Prairie has paid a lump sum of $160,000 to ousted Village Administrator Nathan Thiel. The Village will also allow Thiel to collect unemployment compensation. According to the 4-page contract , Thiel isn’t allowed to talk about the details of the document or “make any negative written or verbal statement that could reasonably be expected to negatively affect the personal or professional reputation of an individual or entity.”

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Also in the agreement are many legal notations such as “This Agreement shall not, in any way, be construed as an admission by the Village that it acted wrongfully, improperly, or unlawfully in its treatment of Thiel”. The contract also contains a full legal release prohibiting Thiel from suing the Village.

John Steinbrink, Jr and John Steinbrink, Sr

The termination of Thiel comes concurrent to a corruption probe by the Racine County Sheriff’s department into the Village’s Public Works Director, John Steinbrink, Jr. Steinbrink, Jr is the son of the Village President, John Steinbrink, Sr. Notably absent from the contract is Steinbrink Sr’s signature. Instead, Village Trustee Mike Pollocoff signed the agreement as “Village Board President pro tem.”

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A separation agreement like this would ordinarily be signed by the Village President, which may signal that Steinbrink Sr. is also the target of the corruption investigation.

Reached in early May, Racine Sheriff Chris Schmaling told KCE in reference to the investigation “It is challenging to give an accurate completion date at this point.  I can assure you however, we have prioritized this investigation, but at the same time committed to being thorough. “

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Click here to read the 4-page contract.


  • Kevin Mathewson

    Kevin Mathewson is a disciple of Christ, husband and a father to two wonderful children. Mathewson was born and raised in Lake County, IL and worked as a police & fire dispatcher from 2005 to 2010 in Round Lake Beach, IL. Mathewson moved to Kenosha County in 2006, later being elected to the position of Alderman of the 8th District in 2012 and 2016. Mathewson is a private investigator, security contractor, journalist, and photographer. He enjoys spending time with his family, watching movies, camping and boating. His favorite amendment is the second, followed closely by the first. He loves his country and community.


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12 Responses

  1. Sure is a lot of money from taxpayers. Must be a really BIG secret to pay $160,000.00 to keep it quiet. Inquiring minds want to know the truth.

  2. Hopefully the lid will be lifted on what happens behind closed doors in the village With all the growth of new homes and business our taxes are very high, but given the buyouts we can see where money is going. Would like to see jail time for corrupt conduct on village board

  3. That village is SO corrupt! Starting at village hall and going all the way into the police department! I hope they all get ousted!

  4. This is the kind of responsible and taxpayer focused leadership you get when you allow “Vote Blue No Matter Who” to influence your ballot.

  5. Is this the 1 year salary payout required by his contract or is this in addition to that? I’m thinking this may be a bit misleading since the Village did indeed have a clause in the original contract as reported earlier that required he be paid 1 year salary upon separation.

    1. The Village is full of shenanigans. A small group of individuals profit on the backs of taxpayers and other Village employees. Someone needs to fire all the department heads and administration and start over.

    2. Even if this is contractual financially the silence issues is suspect at best. Sounds to me like his removal is shady as well.

  6. You know? Now is the time for a new bread of citizen advocates to step up and pursue these various government positions. The left have been doing this forever and will take over PP if given the chance. I think all we can ask for are honest, concerned Patriotic residents to step in for a time to lead the community. Government elected positions should not be a career option which leads to corruption.

  7. I sometimes think this is the gang that can’t shoot straight. The village does a good job of providing good services and most village staff are good, hard-working people who care. Anyone who compared Pleasant Prairie’s job in plowing streets vs. Kenosha’s knows the difference. What’s weird is why the lack of transparency. City managers tend to last a few years on the job before moving on. Why the need for a buyout? The now former administrator pushed back village board meeting times from 6 p.m. to 5 p.m. to make it more difficult for many people to attend. Even with its issues the village is still much better run than the city and far more pro business and growth. Which makes the lack of transparency over some things even more troubling.

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