We are learning more about the corruption investigation into the Village of Pleasant Prairie. The Racine County Sheriff is conducting probe into the Village of Pleasant Prairie’s public works director, John Steinbrink , Jr. Junior’s dad is the Village President, John Steinbrink Sr. According to documents obtained by KCE, we now know that ousted Village Administrator Nathan Thiel was behind placing John Steinbrink, Jr on leave. In the letter placing Junior on leave dated April 1, 2022, the reasons cited are:
Mishandling of Village Assets
Falsifying State Reports
Mismanagement of Public Contracts
The letter also commanded Junior to report to Village hall at a later date to answer questions. The same day Junior was placed on leave, a Village-wide email was sent by Thiel, saying in part:
“You should be made aware that earlier today we placed John Steinbrink Jr on paid administrative leave in order to provide sufficient space for an investigation of several substantive allegations made earlier this week. To eliminate the appearance of any bias, investigations wil be conducted by an outside agency……. You may share with other staff as appropriate, but please emphasize that this is a sensitive issue and gossip and rumors will not be tolerated”
The fact that Thiel was ousted shortly after putting Junior on leave is adding to the public’s belief that he was punished by the Village Board headed by Junior’s father.
Reached by phone, Village Trustee and former Village Administrator Mike Pollocoff told KCE that when the board decided to not renew Thiel’s contract, it was before the beginning of Junior’s investigation. He told us that no one got in the way of the investigation and the investigation into Junior didn’t play a role in his choice not to keep Thiel.
This matter is still in the investigative process by the Racine County Sheriff and no charges have been filed yet.