A woman named Veronica Gloria who works with sensitive, confidential and important police records for Kenosha Police and Sheriff’s Departments will keep her job after pleading guilty to drug and OWI charges. She was only suspended for one day by Joint Services Director Josh Nielsen and Assistant Director Stephanie Lorenzo after she admitted to driving drunk with alcohol and while in possession of drugs. On May 20, 2022, Gloria was pulled over by Kenosha Police officers after she was driving erratically. Officers initially thought she was attempting to elude them. They had to activate the squad car’s siren. After she did finally pull over, she lied to police several times throughout her drunken encounter that was captured by Police body-cams. She was obviously drunk and she degraded, used profanity, and seemed to insult officers. She denied drinking, lied about where she was coming from, and lied about having drugs and paraphernalia on her person. She performed Field Sobriety Tests and gave 16 clues of impairment out of a possible 18. “She’s blasted”, said officer Williams. When placed in the squad car, she complained that it hurt and said “FUCK ME, and my pain right?!” She did tell Williams many times to “go ask Fischer who I am!” in an apparent attempt to get out of the charges. Officer Williams, who handled most of this incident, was a trainee. His field training officer is Veteran KPD Officer Fisch, who made sure to do everything by the book, even when the trainee was about to turn off his Body-Cam, saying “Keep those cameras on. We’re not hiding anything.”
A marijuana vape pen was discovered in her purse and tested positive for THC. She was non-cooperative with officers and did not consent to a breathalyzer. Kenosha Police woke up Judge Jodi Meier and got a warrant for her blood. KPD took her to the hospital where they had a medical professional take her blood.
Gloria works for Joint Services that is funded in half by by City tax dollars and the other half, by County tax dollars. Notwithstanding this conflict of interest, City Prosecutor William Richardson dropped the drug charge and replaced it with disorderly conduct. Municipal Judge Michael Easton, the Mayor’s Nephew and cousin of a KPD Detective, approved the generous plea deal. Neither the City Attorney’s office, nor Judge Easton would comment on why they handled the case and gave Gloria a break with the conflict of interest. In fact, Gloria attempted to pay the tickets right away (plead guilty) and a City official told her to “wait until after court.” The City Official apparently knew about the upcoming plea deal. Most Wisconsinites who refuse to submit to breath or blood tests have their license suspended for 1 year. Gloria’s was suspended for only 9 months.
KCE received Gloria’s disciplinary records and learned that she was placed on paid leave for 5 days for the “Internal Investigation.” In the records, Director Nielsen writes that Gloria’s actions “are of a very serious nature” and “Your actions have damaged your creditability as an employee….and as a records clerk. Your actions directly impact the trust of the professional working relationships [with Kenosha Police and Sheriff] for which Joint Services provides services.” Even with the strong words, still she was allowed to keep her job and only received a one(1) day suspension. Since she was paid for 5 days she did not work, so she essentially got 4 paid days off due to her conduct.
Gloria was also read a Garrity warning, meaning, she was forced to answer questions. If she didn’t she could be fired. What she said during Garrity, however couldn’t be used in her legal case. During her interrogation she admitted to drunk driving and being in possession of the drugs. She said, however that she didn’t use drugs, to which Lorenzo and Nielsen believed. She didn’t think the search of her purse was legal. She is wrong – in Wisconsin, you can be searched pursuant to an arrest. Neither Nielsen nor Lorenzo thought she should be drug tested to confirm her doubdtful answer. There is also no agreement for her to be drug-tested in the future.
Ignoring drug use is not something new with Nielsen or Joint Services. Brittney Smith, a 9-1-1 dispatcher, was arrested and charged with a felony in 2019 after she fought with police. She had drugs in her home and police smelled recently-smoked marijuana. She denied knowledge of them which the previous director found “impossible to believe.” Still Nielsen recommended that Smith keep her job. KCE was tipped off from an employee that Stephanie Lorenzo, the newly promoted assistant director called in a cocaine overdose for her husband on August 20, 2021. Even though a high-ranking employee of joint Services locked the police report, we obtained it. While most of it was redacted, it did say that her husband tested positive for cocaine and Benzodiazepines. We asked Lorenzo about this and she said that she was “unaware” of her husband’s drug use in her home.
KCE recently attended a board meeting for Records and 9-1-1 and the board is aware of these decisions by the Director and Assistant Director. The agency is having an extremely hard time keeping staff due to moral issues. Several employees left soon after Nielsen was promoted. The agency is badly in need of (8) 9-1-1 dispatchers. The board members are:
Chairman County Board Supervisor Monica Yuhas
Kenosha City Administrator John Morrissey
Kenosha County Executive Samantha Kerkman
Kenosha Police Chief Eric Larsen
Kenosha County Board Supervisor Mark Nordigan
Kenosha Alderman Curt Wilson
Kenosha Resident Joshua Barker
Here is the body-cam footage of the arrest: