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Disgraced Village Of Pleasant Prairie Public Works Director John Steinbrink, Jr Charged With Seven Felonies: Faces 31 Years In Prison

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John Steinbrink, Jr (53) Pleasant Prairie

“You don’t disagree with Steinbrink, Jr. If you do, you’re going to be out of a job” said one of the employee whistle-blowers in the Pleasant Prairie corruption investigation to an investigator with the Racine County Sheriff’s Office.

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The disgraced former Village of Pleasant Prairie public works director was charged today with seven felonies related to corruption, enough to put him behind bars for decades. In the six-page criminal complaint filed today, Steinbrink, Jr was formally charged with one count of Theft – False Representation between $10,000 and $100,000 and six counts of felony Misconduct in Public Office – Excess Authority. The former carries a maximum prison sentence of 10 years, and the latter, 3.5 years each.

PPPD Captain Barry Ollila, Former Village Administrator Nathan Thiel and PPPD Chief Dave Smetana

On April 4, 2022, Captain Ollila of the Pleasant Prairie Police Department was approached by a former public works employee who blew the whistle on Steinbrink, Jr for years of alleged misconduct. Police Chief Dave Smetana became aware and decided with the Captain and Village Administration to forward the investigation to the Racine County Sheriff’s Office (RCSO) due to a conflict of interest. RCSO then conducted a multi-month investigation. Thiel was soon-thereafter fired.

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According to the criminal complaint it is alleged:

Dump Truck Purchased by Steinbrink, Jr Repaired With Village Funds

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Steinbrink, Jr purchased a Village Dump Truck, a 2000 Ford Sterling L8500, for $14,500. He then ordered Village staff to repair it, spending thousands on new tires and brakes. The repairs were logged in the Department of Public Works electronic records system.

Steinbrink, Jr and his live-in girlfriend Andra Jacobsen Rosales (42)

Wood Chipper

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Steinbrink, Jr asked his father and other Village officials to purchase a brand new wood chipper, saying the two they had were old and broke down often. One was built in 1993 and the other, in 2005. The board, including his father, ostensibly approved the budget item and the Village got a brand new chipper. Steinbrink, Jr worked out a deal with JJ Kane Auctions where he would buy the 2005 chipper for $2,000. He ordered village staff to repair it, with new blades, chains, and other components. His live-in girlfriend, Andra Jacobsen, bought the chipper with a credit card on 2/4/2022. It is unknown if Jacobsen will be charged. Steinbrink, Jr owns a tree-trimming business. Steinbrink, Jr told police “I’ll tell you what, bad call on my part there…”

Bain Station Road Paving Project

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In 2020, there was a road improvement project at the corner of Bain Station Road and 85th St. The cost was estimated to be $206,348.62 but only cost $115,888. Steinbrink, Jr ordered the leftover to be placed in the Village’s coffers instead of being refunded back to the developer who put the money up, depriving them of approximately $90,300. Also, there was a gate and culverts installed on his family property that were owned by the Village. His father, the Village President John Steinbrink, Sr benefited from this as well.

Concrete Work at Steinbrink, Jr’s Residence

Steinbrink, Jr ordered staff to hide their trucks behind his pole barn and help pour concrete in his backyard for his in-the-ground pool while on duty being paid by the Village.

Forged Documents

Steinbrink, Jr didn’t complete compost temperature checks for the Wisconsin DNR for two years. A DNR employee was coming the next day, so Steinbrink, Jr ordered staff to forge signatures.

Illegal Abandonment Of Laddish Well

Steinbrink, Jr ordered staff to abandon a well illegally, saying “no matter what, get it done.” This was contrary to regulation.

“Employees were asked about what it was like to work for Steinbrink Jr. SS stated that Steinbrink Jr had never been angry towards him; however, he described Steinbrink Jr generally as an angry, narcissistic and manipulating person. SS explained that when he started to work at DPW he was told to do his job, ‘keep his nose down’ and do what he is told to do even if it is the wrong thing. Inv Sharrett (RCSO) learned that employees feared losing their jobs if they did not do as Steinbrink Jr instructed. Another employee, MT stated that employees worked in fear while Steinbrink Jr was in charge of DPW and described work environment as being happier since Steinbrink Jr had left the department.”

Attorney Richard J. Smith

Steinbrink, Jr hired Richard J. Smith of Milwaukee, a criminal defense attorney of 41 years to defend him. Steinbrink, Jr is due in court on August 10, 2022 at 1pm for an initial appearance. Racine County DA Patricia Hanson didn’t ask for a warrant, but instead issued a summons to Steinbrink, an uncommon procedure for a case as serious as this.

John Steinbrink, Sr
Village of Pleasant Prairie president

It is very difficult if not impossible to believe that Junior’s father, the long-time Village president, did not have knowledge of all of these serious allegations. We contacted him to ask him this very thing but he declined to comment.

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122 Responses

  1. 31 years?? The punishment does NOT fit the crime here. He cut some corners for his own good but He’s done lots of good work for the community also. The people in power that belong in jail in Kenosha county are the ones that let buildings burn, our police face horrible abuse like bricks to the face and left our residents in complete fear without the ability to call the police against a riot mob that lasted DAYS. I’m still very upset about that ?

    1. He deserves more than 31 years. This is the tip of the iceberg. There are things that he has done that are beyond statue of limitations that would make your stomach turn. He is a filthy piece of shit who abused his power and terrorized his employees. If you or anyone thinks that is ok you should have your moral compass checked. He STOLE from residents!!! I hope his dumb ass girlfriend gets charged with a felony as well. She knew he was a cheating piece of shit and went along with it for her own gains. Maybe she won’t think he is such a catch when he is wearing orange behind bars.

      Residents need to demand a complete audit of the village books, materials, vehicles. All village vehicles should have trackers and his dad should resign – he knew was going on and let his arrogant ass of a child do it!!!! A village president out for his own pocketbook.

    2. “He cut corners for his own good”, just ask the company that Jr stole money from and put into the Village general fund. Why did we need a referendum to get more Police and Fire when we got Jr putting stolen money into the Village coffers. A forensic audit of all Village accounts is necessary from DPW to Police and Fire.

      1. If I read this correctly the actual cost of the work was less than what the contractor paid the village and ostensibly a refund should have been made. Why wasn’t it done? He’s not accused of pocketing any of the overage. Was he just trying to cover up what might have been an incompetent estimate of the job cost? Or what? Reading the complaint almost seems like they don’t have all their ducks in a row.

        1. It states that the money was rolled into the paving budget. He has to recoup the concrete cost for his driveway, pool, access road etc. somehow.

        2. Steinbrink Jr has a huge 2015 28ft. 22 tilt top 6 flat in front of his house for sale if anyone is looking for one. The price is 9,500. Here’s the number: 262-620-4690. It would be interesting to know where the origin was and who its titled to. I hope this money is given back to VPP people.

    3. I am still pissed about our community being attacked but that doesn’t change my anger at these thieves one bit. They absolutely deserve harsh punishment, and there is no way his father & buddy Ray Rowe didn’t know this was happening! What punishment do you suggest? Anything less than years in prison is unacceptable!

    4. The Village of Pleasant Prairie is not Kenosha and have their own elected officials!

      You’re right, 31 years is NOT enough time for the crime this scumbag has done. He never should have been hired by the Village with his Father there!! Not to mention there are other elected officials that hopefully will be seeing charges against them too!!! This douche thought he could get away with it since Daddy looked the other way! I’m sure he isn’t looking so smug now!!! I want to see a mug shot if this POS!!

  2. This confirms a lot of what you wrote. Only error is that a summons would be typical in a case like this which is nonviolent, the accused is out of custody and there is no threat to public safety. Also gives the DA more time to prepare, the accused time to retain counsel and the courts time to figure out if the case will stay in Kenosha or not. No smoking gun. Another question is whether the village will do an audit.

    1. I think there are periodic audits why not a special audit targeting junior’s department? Did Thiel sign a nondisclosure agreement? If so, could the board vote to relief him of that so he could confirm the reason for his nonrenewal. KCE should try to get a copy of Thiel’s contract. If the contract expired and was not renewed why is he being paid $160K? Just what does that contract say? Did the village have a requirement to notify Thiel of nonrenewal x number of days before expiration or else pay? Think of the Packers. If they cut you after two years of a three year contract they owe you for the last year (there could be some adjustments if a new team picks you up). But if you played for all three years and they don’t renew your contract it’s over — both sides did what they agreed to do. Did Thiel had some issues of his own but maybe not enough to can him? The “deal” to give him a positive letter of recommendation is oddly both consistent and inconsistent with that. Bottom line: why was there anything paid to Thiel if his contract was allowed to expire and not renewed?

      1. I can partially answer my own question. The separation agreement KCE published says that it was in exchange for Thiel’s “resignation” and in compliance with the contract he was paid a year’s salary and bennies. That means we should see Thiel’s contract. Obviously it was a forced resignation so not a nonrenewal. But why? If it was due to expire soon and there was no smoking gun why not let it run out and not stick taxpayers with paying someone for work not done. Any other village employee who was “resigned” doesn’t get a year’s salary and bennies. If Thiel engaged in misconduct why a buyout? Or did some lawyer tell them it was cheaper to buy him out than to fire him? Thiel suspended junior on April 1 but the village board already had met in March to review Thiel’s job performance so there’s evidence they were concerned about him before junior was suspended. According to the criminal complaint DPW employees spoke with Capt. Olilla at the police department (the #3 guy) on April 4 which suggests that Thiel may have had the information before then. Thiel obviously from the contents of the suspension letter had received some information on or before April 1 and had to have made some initial inquiry in order to frame the suspension letter. It’s not illogical that Thiel then brought in Olilla who did some additional investigation before turning it over to Racine County. Imagine the horrible spot Thiel could have been in — the March 23 board meeting where his performance was under review and then finding out about junior. Then, if he was doing his job normally, he would have had to notify the village president (this isn’t something you do without notifying the village president and the board) and in this case the village president is senior. It could all have been coincidental — or not or maybe even both. Maybe they were considering whether to renew Thiel’s contract and then this happened which sealed his fate. We’ll never know unless Thiel is allowed to talk. Maybe an open records request for Thiel’s E-mails (although maybe there aren’t any). Weird.

  3. Please remove the “Rosales” name in the article. She has been divorced for some time and that name does not want to be attached to these two shady characters. Fyi…Karma is a bitch and I’m glad it is coming back to them! No action needed.

  4. Jr has been stealing from taxpayers DECADES. We as taxpayers demand a forensic audit of the village books. Any account JR has touched should be audited. If the board truly represents taxpayers, they need to demand a forensic/fraud audit in order to determine what amount of restitution is needed to make taxpayers whole. SR needs to go too! And his dealings with land and rezoning needs to be investigated as well. Where there is smoke, there’s fire and it’s been happening for a very long time. Next up, Mike Pollocoff- ALL of this happened under his watch. He hired JR and knew of all of this!

    1. I certainly hope they are looking into Steinbrink Sr! He definitely knew what was going on. I noticed that the fancy new fence that spanned Srs property on Bain Station Rd as well as the sturdy green gate are suddenly gone from the property. Why would Sr put up the nicest fence that property has ever seen and then take it down? I agree that there needs to be an audit of every department conducted by an outside agency. I wonder why the Menards rebates weren’t charged? What about the sexual harassment charges? Seems to me like he’s getting off easy. I certainly hope that more people come forward now that they know he will no longer have the power to fire them and an amended criminal complaint is filed. His actions are appalling but only getting charged with a fraction of his illegal activities is worse.

      1. They should only charge what they can prove and if a charge wasn’t filed it is probably a proof problem. Maybe this needs more investigation as well as an audit.

  5. Total disgusting, disgrace!! Tip of the iceberg is right.. Others who know more haven’t come forward [yet], and there’s more proof buried! I agree that a mandatory full audit needs to be done. His father is just as guilty, likely more.. There’s already proof that he benefited as well! Not to mention, his nepotism is the root of all this. Meanwhile Sr. sits there pretending that he knows nothing and that Jr. should be praised for all the good he did.. Lying, thief, coward(s)! What a slap in the face to the entire village of innocent tax payers and employees! Why isn’t this news covered better by Pleasant Prairie/Kenosha? Why isn’t one bit of this info posted on the PP website and The Village newsletter? No doubt, along with Sr, there’s still crooked board members covering things up, so there’s still employees of the Village and connected parties and even people in the village , that know a lot more – and they’re all scared of retribution because Sr. is still top dog.. If Sr. doesn’t go to prison (like he deserves) too, he should at the very least, resign (we know he won’t get fired!). Get the f*ck out of our Village!

    F*ck you Steinbrink’s!!

  6. They didn’t even mention the sexual misconduct which happened while on village property with employees. Rumor has it that both of his former girlfriends/former employees refused to speak out against him because of exposure and embarrassment. If RCPD would keep digging the laundry list would only get longer.

  7. They stole from ALL taxpayers , how about the hush money that when to Thiel $160,000 how was that money hid ? Police need to look into finance dept because they covered this up. Also everyone knows about Menards rebates but no one wondered where rebates were going? Hopefully the shrine they built to Pollocoff comes down road and REC PLEX having his name, also remember that NO taxpayer dollars were to used at REC PLEX well that changed without our voice, heard Pollocoff was being pay full salary when he resigned as village president until he got back on the board. We need a complete review of village under handed dealing!!!

  8. Nice tit’s Jr.! You should have taken more advantage of your “free” Recplex access instead of using it as your personal hunting grounds for infidelities.. Have fun in prison Asshole!

  9. The village owes transparency to the taxpayers. I won’t jump to suppositions as to whether Steinbrink, sr. knew any of this is advance. Maybe yes, maybe no and arguments can be made either way (the easiest people to steal from are those closest to you and often the most guilty are the ones you wouldn’t suspect). There are regular audits but would a routine audit catch this or would a special one be needed? The village would be well served by an open audit of the DPW and anything else Steinbrink, jr. was involved in. Kudos to Kevin for putting up the criminal complaint. It shows that village employees blew the whistle and Capt. Olilla did what he should do. But unless there’s more transparency from the village board and administration what are people to think???

  10. With the Head of Finance, Kathy Goessel now given the Village Administrator job, how can she be trusted with any Village business? She can’t even understand where 90K came from that went into the general fund. Hello Kathy, basic adding and subtracting.
    This is the person years ago that the Village recruited to be the dispatch supervisor but didn’t know anything about dispatching. The people she was supposed to supervise were training her. Then she went on to finance. Here is just another fine example of another Department Head that needs to go due to incompetence.

  11. One of the charges is the abandonment of the the Laddish well that was done improperly. My question-is that well still operational? This well is interesting as to how close in proximity the Laddish well is to the Steinbrink property. I was forced to hook up to water when it came through and had to shut down my well. I think it would be interesting to see if the Laddish well was still being utilized.

  12. This Is absolutely no surprise to me. He has been using Pleasant Prarie has his personal playground for many, many years. His Daddy obviously taught him. They have taken advantage of the people of Pleasant Prarie. They have used tax payers money for their personal gain.
    It’s extremely sad that numerous good people, who were employed by the Village, lost their jobs because Junior was a bully. At least someone had the backbone to blow the whistle on him. What comes around, goes around.
    I hope it costs him a fortune to pay for his defense lawyers. Then, I hope there’s a huge amount of restitution Imposed so he has to sell his home. Icing on the cake would be to see him sentenced to prison for abusing his position. I believe that a prison sentence Is In order. Not only as a punishment to him. But to send the message that this kind of stuff will not be tolerated.
    The residents of Pleasant Prarie deserve to see this case followed through until Jr Is sentenced to prison.

    1. Jr and his papa are so dirty. He will never have to sell his home, Daddy will take care of him. Disgraceful for PP.
      We deserve new blood.

  13. What do Hunter Biden and this clown have in common? “The Big Guy” daddy is in charge of the playground. I’d love to see daddy go down too. Joe or John they both seem to be teaching sonny-boy how to lie, cheat, and steal…

  14. Wake up people! This is only the beginning of the mismanagement taking place in the Village of Pleasant Prairie. The entire Board, Steinbrink, Pollocoff, Keckler and Klimisch ALL KNEW what was going on an turned a blind eye. They all need to go and hopefully with the next couple elections, they will be gone. I’ve been told by numerous people that the current acting administrator Kathy Goessel knew about John Junior’s shenanigans and turned a blind eye because she did not wanna go up against her boss, Mike Pollocoff, and John Steinbrink Sr. the Village president. The village is known for having department heads demean and harass their employees. This isn’t anything new. They had an HR department that allowed the mismanagement to happen even though they were fully aware of it. This includes the newly retired Carol Wilke, Jane Snell, who happens to be the village clerk and Jane Romanowski, former HR and Village Clerk I have heard from a few employees at Village Hall that Jane Snell is also degrading to employees. She is allowed to yell and scream at them. It has been known for years that she has made Vesna‘s life a living hell, and yet it is tolerated. Pollocoff knew, Wilke knew, and yet nothing is done. There is a pattern here that needs to be broken. I also think that the village should look into all of their departments as to who is doing side work while still on the clock . It is known that there is a building inspector who has a side business and is inconspicuously gone at odd times during the work day, doing what? Who knows. Jean Werbie Harris is known for doing historical society stuff while at work. She takes advantage of the system and also has her staff doing historical society work as well while on the clock. It is also well known that Jean “works from home” so she can take care of her granddaughter and not pay for childcare. It is also a long standing practice for these government workers to come in late in the morning, take long lunch hours, and leave early. Typical government workers, who claimed that they are overworked and underpaid but yet don’t even fill in a 40 hour work week. As a taxpayer I find that disgusting and irresponsible. I would hope Kevin, that you would look into this and ask in an open records request for swipes and punches for department heads and staff to see who’s coming in at 7:30 AM and who is not. Everyone has to swipe in so this should be an easy request. Taxpayers pay their salaries and deserve to have employees who want to work and are not taking advantage of the system. I would hope that citizens start showing up at board meetings and go on record stating their displeasure with how things have been allowed to be ran in the past. It’s time for everyone to wake up in the Village!!! This is our government, not the good old boys!!!

    1. I worked at Village Hall years ago and you are spot on about Jane Snell. She is condescending, down right mean, a bully and just not nice. Not now that is unless you’re a Village Board member and then she’s all nice. She is a fake and as hateful as they come. She has created many sleepless nights for many employees over the years. I heard in the last year she went thru two deputy clerks. They left because they were treated so badly. There’s definitely a pattern here just like there was with the last clerk. Both ugly human beings and so unhappy with their own lives that they have to make others as miserable as they are. Looking forward to hearing more about the toxic work environment in the Village. I guess it’s not a great place to work, live and play.

      1. Depends on which department they work for. Some of the bosses are top notch and good people who support their employees. A couple make you shake your head. And there are quite a few who aren’t in the position to speak and they are PISSED and/or they don’t have power to do anything on their own. The lack of transparency is dumping on the good people at village hall, the police and fire stations and DPW.

        1. I’m not sure Jean Werbie Harris should be on the shit list. She works her ass off and kicks ass of developers who want to cut corners and engage in shady deals. The power structure has dumped on her so it wouldn’t surprise me if she lost some enthusiasm. The historical society is part of the village and there’s nothing wrong there. She fought for years to get the village green downtown area moving and got dumped on for that. I’m surprised she hasn’t found a six-figure job with some other employer who would treat her better.

          1. Really? Werbie looked the other way for permits when Jr built his home. Same for the home Sr built and again for the new home for Tricia on the Steinbrink compound. She Created zoning benefits for Sr. which allowed him to make millions with tax exempt properties and be the first to buy newly valuable land from these zoning deals. Also developed a loop hole to subdivide the land where these homes sit- made Peter Steinbrink (Sr’s brother who is incompetent) sign these documents. The list goes on and on.

          2. She walks around like her shit don’t stink and the museum should be separate from her employees doing that work

    2. Unfortunately, you’re correct on every level, and these “good ol’Boys have been in power here even before it became a village. With an open and honest investigation, many current and former Prairie officials would have a lot of egg on their faces

  15. 31 years in prison is a looonnngggg time! He will have plenty of time to think of all of his wrong doings….

    1. And FYI, ********** is a former Village of Pleasant a Prairie employee….for real!! Think he was working for Werbie in the building inspection department for a while. Can’t make this shit up!

      1. Yes! Republicans need to know NOT to vote for him in the primary!!! Once I saw he owned Rivals and that he is buddies with Jr. I voted for Amanda Nedweski!

        Ever hear the saying “Birds of a feather flock together”? I have zero confidence that he doesn’t/didn’t know what a crook/jackass his buddy is. Not a good character choice being so close to Jr. and even naming a burger after him! They are a little too close!!!!

      2. Why are you removing the name Mike Honold? He is a former employee and currently running for State Assembly? Those are the facts.

  16. Very sad that his Dad has not resigned. Joe Biden knew about his son I’m sure John sr had a pretty good idea .

  17. Does this mean that the RecPlex isn’t going to be renamed the Steinbrink RecPlex…..will there be no Steinbrink Road? No Steinbrink Village Park? No Steinbrink Auditorium? 🙂 Ya, it looks like he a lot more good for Steinbrink and Son than for the Village. His dad and his good ol’ boy network of Village Board members need to be investigated as well.

  18. Hey Kevin- JR is running a pool installation company and a tree trimming company in the Village, both of which VPP knew of. Please check with village hall if he’s pulled business licenses to run these businesses out of his home, in the Village. I guarantee he has not! Yet another loophole only available to the Steinbrink family! Bet the IRS would be interested in the non claimed income he’s collected over the years!

  19. Kevin, anyway to find out if they have investigated where all the village scrap metal money has gone? Jr. Required receipts after dumping and demanded the cash, making workers travel farther to a facility that only paid cash instead of a closer facility that would leave a paper trail. Can finance confirm all of that money was logged back to the village/village budget? I bet he pocketed all the money – that wold be tens of thousands of dollars lost to village residents in offsets in the budget.

      1. I am certain present and former employees can attest to the trips made there and the money turned over to Jr. as can Supervisors. So, where did it all go?

  20. Pleasant Prairie is not the only government entity where these shenanigans and criminal activities occur. I will say from my own experience with two different government employers, it’s more common than most people realize. Sometimes keeping your eye down and your nose to the grind stone isn’t enough. Department chiefs can be control freak monsters with employee pets that will do anything, right or wrong, they’re told. HR departments will circle the wagons and protect these monsters while flags of high employee turnover are disregarded by the Board.

  21. Someone who lives in the village needs to (1) start recalls on every person elected (2) file a lawsuit against the village, it’s elected members and Jr on behalf of the tax payers and include a forensic audit (3) start a grassroots organization and go to media, board meetings, etc., demanding resignations, audit by an out of town company, etc. Put pressure on them and create attention (4) start looking into filing federal harassment suits

  22. Kevin,
    Has Pleasant Prairie paid back the money that was stolen from the contractor? Gone back and Fixed the well properly? Notified the DNR about the forged documents? Billed JR for the work and parts that was performed?

  23. This is being done to make Democrat Tony Evers and his supporters look bad. Shame-Shame-Shame on those who begrudge the Steinbrink’s an opportunity to make a little bit of money for all their hard work.

  24. I find it interesting that this is the same individual that I personally witnessed initiate a high-speed chase in a village parks truck in the mid 1990’s. Leaving Lake Andrea, he must have hit close to 100 MPH heading north on HWY H. Clearly, this was an inappropriate use of village property. I recall that he was reported for his actions and the person he pursued discussed a case with a lawyer. I can’t help but wonder what might have happened had he been slapped on the wrist 30 years ago for what would become a pattern of future inappropriate actions.

  25. This case ABSOLUTELY needs to go to court- NO settlement out of court for Jr—NONE! Taxpayers MUST demand this of the VPP Board! In doing so, former Village Administrator Thiel CAN testify, even with having been forced to sign a severance agreement penned by Steinbrink Sr.. An internal forensic audit MUST be done! I’m certain we will hear from Thiel that Mike Pollocoff is just as corrupt, Kathy Goessl, Jean Werbie, Jane Romanowski, Jane Snell, and many many others. They all need to lose their WRS pension as well! I anxiously await all the skeletons that come out of that testimony! Current employees (those few left with integrity who have watched years of corruption) are scared to death on losing their jobs/careers if they come forward. How awful this is for them as well. (And KUDOS to those who ARE reaching out to other confidential sources to share where to look for more fraud). The board NEEDS to take this to an external fraud examiner, possibly turn over to the FBI as his theft is in the MILLIONS! I’m sure current Administrator and former Finance Director Kathy Goessl won’t turn herself in….she’s just as guilty for letting him get away with this all these years!!

  26. I’m a ex pppw employee that was on the job of putting in the culverts and gates and all the gravel on their property

    1. And were you interviewed in the investigations? If you witnessed anything crooked or questionable on that job or any other, PLEASE talk to someone!

        1. Please go to the Board, the RCSD, news stations, police department, SgT Olilla, etc. get the word out there- he’s corrupt as hell, bring that entire family down for decades of theft and corruption!

  27. Honestly, I’m wondering if justice will be truly served, in light of the preferential treatment being shown to him already. If he were any average person charged with a felony, who is not as well-connected, he would have been arrested, taken in to the jail, fingerprinted, and allowed to post bail/bond. It makes no difference that this is a white-collar corruption case that is non-violent. Forgery is a non-violent felony for which a person is arrested and processed as a potential criminal. He should have been arrested and processed as any other person would.

    1. It is up the the Village Board to keep this in court as well as an internal audit and FBI involvement to uncover what we all know exists—MORE THEFT!

      1. He and his family have been stealing for YEARS under Mike Pollocoff as the Administrator. You are fools to think this only started under Thiel’s leadership (last three years). Thiel uncovered this jackass and all his shenanigans and lost his job as a result. If the Board has any balls or integrity, they need to stand up against SR and Mike Pollocoff. They will find a whole lot more of theft, fraud and underhanded deals. Keckler, Klimisch, Kedrow-GET AN INTERNAL FRAUD AUDIT! TAXPAYERS DEMAND IT! The annual financial audit will never uncover this type of fraud, obviously!

    2. Jr. will be booked on Aug. 10 if he wasn’t already. This has been the practice for a few years. Because of several reasons (including jail crowding and Covid) “non-emergency” cases are typically “summons and complaint.” Given that the Racine DA is in charge of this “summons and complaint” helps her navigate the logistics and further investigation needed to move the case forward. With the criminal complaint out there now there is room for more people to come forward. This actually helps build the case.

  28. I know he hit a train on Bain station rd with his Pleasent Prarrie truck. I also know he put his truck in the ditch driving home from rivals. Or how about he smashed the back window out of his truck stealing end walls for culverts for his grandmothers house. Also whoever drives past his house has anyone noticed these no seam from hwy h into his driveway where the road meets the drive way. There’s a lot of things that are still out there left in handled. Another one is that the village equipment was used to build rivals volleyball courts also knowing that there was a invoice for the sand that an eye witness stated that it said village of Pleasent Prarrie at the top of it. Just saying 31 years and all his assets need to be stripped and given back the the people of Pleasent Prarrie. As well I commend the people that have stood up for the residents of the village and have made this happen.

    1. Perhaps if you weren’t such a dick to your employees they wouldn’t have been stacking evidence against your for years. You are lucky the statue of limitations is over for your coverup of Yvonne’s
      death you sick bastard! Her family settled thinking the back up lights and horns worked and they DIDN’T!!! You took and impounded State truck and had work done overnight to cover your own ass! How do you sleep at night? You didn’t do your job in 2000 and you didn’t even learn after her death which is why an axle fell off one of our trucks on HWY 31 more recently! I hope Yvonne’s family sees this and goes after you personally!!! The sheriff has all the information they need!!! You aren’t getting out of this one you low life piece of shit!

  29. About ten years ago one of my kids was a very good student at Tremper. My child was on the staff of the school newspaper. The staff advisor to the school newspaper was a member of the Steinbrink family. A small number of senior level students became disillusioned that the print versions of many issues of the school newspapers they developed never arrived at the school from the printer. The staff advisor (from the Steinbrink family) came up with many excuses for this. One of the students became concerned enough to look into it. This student contacted the printer directly. THE ORDERS WERE NEVER PLACED! However, FUNDS WERE REMOVED FROM THE CLUB’S ACCOUNT TO PAY FOR THESE NON-EXISTANT ORDERS!

    Since the student who discovered this feared retaliation by the Steinbrink advisor that could mess up the student’s acceptance at a highly renowned journalism school, this student decided not to endanger their future by blowing the whistle on the embezzlement of school funds.

    I anonymously provided the principal with the information. I have no clue if he looked into it.

    The student graduated with honors and with a masters from this prestigious journalism school. This student lives and works in an important job in the media on the east coast. This student knows first hand of the systemic corruption that is part of Kenosha and has a very poor opinion of his/her hometown. It is sad that the most important first-hand lesson he/she learned in the Kenosha Public Schools was the lesson of how prevalent embedded corruption is in Kenosha.

    1. Not surprised! The apples don’t fall far from the tree. This is Tricia, the youngest, an English teacher at Tremper. Middle kid, Rich, is in Texas running a cell phone tower business. Certain he’s learned how to divert contracts (for personal gain) which is one charge Jr is accused of. Oh and he’s also the family member who purchased the land that connects between 93rd street & hwy 165…just weeks before VPP announced that specific property is needed for the extension of cooper road. Mind you, that property was for sale for YEARS, with no interest to purchase it. (Insider info from daddy on the board). Corrupt family from top to bottom.

      1. I think what would need to be proved here is Insider Information – if the land was for sale I am not sure what can be done just because an family member of Steinbrink’s bought it unless you could tie the purchase to knowledge that a VPP would be needing to buy it for that road. If you are saying the son bought it so he could sell it right back to PP to make a gain- couldn’t the village residents storm the board meeting to stop that road? If it’s not a county or state road we should be able to stop the corruption by not building the road, therefore, the VPP doesn’t need to purchase it from the “new” owner which is Srs son, Rich?

        1. That road is never going through from Cooper to 93rd. We have literally heard that for 20 years now. It’s not happening.

  30. Innocent until proven guilty ??? Lmao sounds like another pathetic excuse To believe the false hope you tell yourself every day you look in the mirror.

  31. Keep up the good journalism!! The story in the Kenosha News was a joke! We need independent people investigating this. The story in the Kenosha News said “a relative of Steinbrink” OMG it was his dad!!!! PP is a good ole boys network who do not protect property owners. The corruption is deep. Thiel was fried because he spoke up. Bring him back!

    1. Nothing has been said about the FBI, however they do have a tip line that someone should submit! This would fall under Public Corruption and perhaps they can research Sr. And Polocoff as well.

  32. How is the chipper not count as a separate count of Theft >$10,000 but <$100,000? If the girlfriend purchased for $2,000 that means its value was $12,000 or less? Does anyone know if that is true? I thought I saw on an earlier post someone say that chipper should have been at auction for more like $20,000. If it was worth more why isn’t the DA doing for two theft counts? This is money he is STEALING from hard working tax payers! And what makes it worse is him saying “my bad” like that should be an excuse from a public worker? Didn’t the village employees also put up a fence on their property years ago on village time (not the culvert and gate)? Why isn’t that documented in the information? I agree only the FBI will dig into the and help tax payers understand what this family and current and old board members have taken for themselves. Kevin do you have any FBI connections or have a way to forward this case to them? Federal jurisdiction would be outside of Sr.s influence and maybe then residents will get the answers they deserve.

    1. Seems as if the RCSO stopped digging once they had enough evidence to place charges. I guarantee if the FBI, internal audit, fraud audit goes into the VPP books and interviews everyone, they will find decades of theft, misconduct and fraud…DECADES and MILLIONS! Former employees too, as they know all about the BS, which is why they were “let go” and considered “disgruntled”. Just read the comments here and from the last KCE article. SR is on his knees praying the investigation starts and stops at JR. He’s shaking in his boots as he knows he’s guilty of theft and has profited millions too! Holy hell, what if they connect allll these dots and dig into Rich Steinbrink and his dealings too? The entire family would be in prison! Many are fed up with this family and now is the time to reveal ALL their fraudulent behaviors and theft while in public office! Pollocoff was there 30 years and knew all this and laughed all the way to the bank. Cut one top dog a deal and I bet they reveal all the shenanigans and skeletons over the last 30 years. Enough is enough!!

      1. Hope the investigation is better than what’s in the criminal complaint. Maybe the Wisconsin DCI should have been asked to do it with the Attorney General’s office in charge of the prosecution.

  33. Wow, John Senior needs to resign from the board. He is there to represent the citizens of Pleasant Prairie, not his son or his own business interests. These charges against his son only go back 2 years, and everyone knows Johnny Boy has been a lying, stealing, womanizing, intimidating, arrogant ass for over 25 years at the Village of Pleasant Prairie. He should have stopped or retired why he was ahead, or after Mike P daddy’s best friend retired. It took the new Village Administrator a couple of years to catch onto the Village Grifters and it cost him his job, but at least his, reputation, integrity and conscious are good. Take a moment if you live in the Village or know someone who does to share this story with them because this wrong on so many levels. John Senior, Mike P, have covered up for the Johnny Boy for years and attempted to do it again by getting rid of Thiel. One would wonder if their actions were not an attempt at OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE, or witness silencing into a criminal investigation that was under way. All to try and save Little Johnny again instead of finally realizing your son was guilty of these accusations and many many more.

    1. We told Nathan once he had this info and we asked John to get walked out he would have a target on his back. Two weeks later he lost his job

  34. Check out a documentary called all the queens horses about corruption in a little town in Illinois called Dixon. One lady in office stole 56 million in 20 yrs. Imagine what the Steinbrinks could get out of VPP that town had a population of 2k

  35. Please call the FBI Milwaukee office at (414) 276-4684 which covers the entire state of Wisconsin. I’m sure this fraud, theft and misconduct in office by the Steinbrink family and so many other individuals inside VPP (Pollocoff, Romanowski, Snell, Werbie, Willke) would be of interest to the FBI.

  36. I’ve heard talk of petitions to get the scum out of PP, yet haven’t seen anything going around. If it’s something that would be legal and taken seriously, I think an online petition might have chances of covering a lot of ground. I’ve seen this site before:

    https://www.change.org/

    Anyone want to volunteer to take lead?

    How about filling out report and getting things in front of FBI?

    How about reporting to IRS?

    Any other suggestions?

  37. I’ve heard talk of petitions to get the scum out of PP, yet haven’t seen anything going around. If it’s something that would be legal and taken seriously, I think an online petition might have chances of covering a lot of ground. I’ve seen this site before:

    https://www.change.org/

    Anyone want to volunteer to take lead on this or another petition?

    How about filling out report and getting things in front of FBI?

    How about reporting to IRS?

    How about getting this to the major news outlets? (I’ve sent emails with no reply or results since this broke.. perhaps if more folks would too?)

    Any other suggestions?

  38. I can only hope that we all show up this Monday at 5 o’clock for the next Village board meeting and express our outrage.
    Meetings are second and fourth Monday every month. I attended the last meeting and there was only seven people there, I thought for sure after the previous article and comments that were on this site that village hall would be packed. Pleasant Prairie taxpayers please attend.

    1. Don’t kid yourselves. There are bad and good people in every organization. And there are “sour gripes” people and some with their own agendas.

      I’ve watched Keckler and Klimisch and they are not afraid to ask lots of questions. Kedrow is too new to judge but I suspect he’d do likewise. Maybe the three of them could vote to waive Thiel’s confidentiality agreement so Thiel could talk. (Then again, maybe he has issues of his own. Who knows?) Maybe they could vote to request a comprehensive audit?

      As for John, sr., also who knows? Maybe he didn’t know what John, jr., was up to. The former is a good family man. Not sure that can be said about his son. Maybe he thought he could get away with things because of his old man. Without transparency nobody knows and maybe it doesn’t matter. Maybe the best thing sr. can do is step aside and remove the black cloud. Whether justified or not, the perception is out there.

      1. Keckler and Klimisch knew about the dirty dealings. They turned a blind eye and a deaf ear to it all. They are part of the problem. Time to vote them out in the Spring. They all know of the harassment of Jame Snell and how she treats employees. Snell gets nasty during every elections and department heads and administration know it happens, they witness her rude behavior and they all turn a blind eye. Just ask any employee who works at Village Hall. Jean Werbie-Harris has been milking the system for years. Just look at her time in the office versus her time
        “Working from home” . Odd how Jean Werbie Harris still is working from home when everyone else is in the office. HUGE double standard there. I’m curious to know how many hours she used staff to do historical society stuff while on the taxpayers dollars. Maybe Kevin you can look into this since you seem to be the only one who has the guts to investigate corruption. Taxpayers deserve to know.

        1. How do you know this? How many board meetings do you go to? The Historical Society is a red herring. It’s part of the village, connected with community development and has its own director. The power people turned on Werbie Harris, a salaried employee, a few years ago. Snell was a surprise hire as clerk. Romanowski was known around the state as one of the best and brightest clerks in Wisconsin (this from other clerks). Probably forgot more than her successor will ever know. The rot was over at DPW which is in a separate building (out of sight, out of mind). The people you name may be victims as much as anyone else and some of these comments are just plain damn illogical. If you’re a crook you keep your circle of friends small. And con men get away with being con men because they are good at fooling people. I’ll give Klimisch and Keckler the benefit of the doubt for now but they need to step up and ask for an outside audit. If they don’t then they need to answer for it. Big deal if someone is working from home, on a train car or most places. I hire people to get a job done. Executives aren’t on the clock, don’t get overtime and are hired and fired on the basis of performance. Sheesh.

          1. The rot is / was everywhere there. Romanowski was up Pollocoff and Steinbrink’s ass (and the entire Steinbrink supporting board) so damn far she couldn’t see straight. She was in on the shady dealings and benefitted with raises (lots of hush money) to keep her mouth shut! She orchestrated SR’s election campaigns and strategies, ON work time. She knew where her paycheck came from and was the lookout for anyone who didn’t support the Steinbrink & Pollocoff clan. (At least she was smart enough to retire with Pollocoff to keep the skeletons hidden and cover her own a**. Wonder how she sleeps at night with all the shit she was an accomplice to? Oh btw, her husband worked at Recplex too— keeping it in the family! Bet Jr wishes he’d of retired when Pollocoff left-ya know before the new Administrator Thiel blew the whistle on all the fraud, theivery, nepotism and corruption! Oh and there are NO surprise hires, Pollocoff was very strategic in his pics, even crested positions for his cronies. He Hired sheep then groomed them as followers. If they ever spoke up or grew a brain , they were squeezed out!

      2. Sr didn’t know what Jr was up to, really? Where did those gates & fence on his property come from? What about the culvert for the grandmas house? What about all Sr’s shady land rezoning and land deals? Jr learned thievery 101 from Sr. I’ll take a leap and say MAYBE the Steinbrink family started out honest 50 years ago when they actually ran a farm but once in office at VPP immediate favors took place, up to and including election canvassing on the clock and using employees for personal gain & profit. Hell, Pollocoff, Serpe, Steinbrink, Werbie & Romanowski all use to plan election strategy on the clock in support of Sr & his cronies. Ask the long term employees, or former employees they know! Don’t forget Terwall (former Board) and his kids BS too! His boys worked there too, flipped a few dump trucks on Bain Station road as well and had the run of the shop. Slapping labels (paid for & printed by VPP ) on mailings creating election campaign materials, etc. Pollocoff’s wife was Steinbrinks treasurer (for campaigns) at some point. Sr knew! He and Pollocoff are the masterminds behind all this! Nepotism at its finest! Crooked as hell!!

    2. Totally agree! I encourage people to attend and speak out at the upcoming village meeting on Monday from 5 to 7pm.

      Lots of strong opinions and great suggestions…. Let make sure they are heard!

      1. As many residents as possible must show up on Monday’s meeting at 5:00 to voice the concern of what is going on and to voice the concern of Sr. Being impartial. He is not. Witnesses have him in his driveway with Jr. and Polocoff after Jr. was interviewed. I am sure they were getting their stories straight and reassuring Jr. they would protect him. This is a huge conflict of interest – he should step down! He should not be privy to any audits/investigations being done. That is just common sense. The fact he isn’t stepping down shows Sr.’s arrogance. Like father, like son.

  39. It is finally time people get wise to this family for years and years John senior has had a special sewer hook up so he didn’t have to pay a sewer bill The sewer line that went east of his property makes a sharp turn to the west and straight to his house. I have been always told a man that will steal a dime will also steal a doller

  40. Look at how bad this is. He steals 90K from a developer. Someone other than him had to account for the money being kept by the village. I would hope that the others in the scheme are also being looked at.
    I can imagine some kind of a mini celebration between the thieves after the money was stolen. I can see him bragging to his dad about the theft.
    The thing about these types of crimes is that the more they get away with the more often and larger the schemes get. And since he had support from board members, his father, other department heads and the previous administrator, the schemes had no limits. I would also assume the booty got split up by the thieves even after it was transferred from the developers escrow account into whatever village account was used to bury the stolen money.
    $90,000.00 is a lot of money and it was stolen very easily. That makes a reasonable person believe this could not have been the first time a developer or others had money stolen from them.
    I know JR. and he is not smart enough to commit this type of crime on his own.
    Some of the other crimes show his low intelligence. But he still had help with those as well.
    These crimes were committed in a very short and recent period of time. It’s reasonable to believe there are several more from previous times.
    The arrogance of Pollocoff, SR. Serpe, Jean, JR. and so many others in that government is sickening. Real change does have to happen.

    I recall my wife calling JR. to get a slowdown sign placed in our subdivision by the park when more development was going on with several contractor and construction equipment blasting thru the neighborhood. Jr told her there was no money for the signs. It wasn’t like we were asking for all the speed bumps like Serpe neighborhood got a few years ago when road work was going on near his neighborhood.
    It’s not like we were asking for gates to be installed like SR got.
    Just a post and a sign to make people aware of the small children in the park.

    Terrible government run by corrupt people at many levels.

    1. According to the criminal complaint the $90K was not necessarily “stolen” (in the traditional sense of the word). Apparently the job came in under budget and there was money paid up front that the village retained which apparently should have been refunded. This is what makes no sense. Why would he cook the books and have the village hold onto the money? Was it to cover up massively overestimating the job cost (and potentially angering the developer)? The criminal complaint never said (and correct me if I’m wrong) that he pocketed the money or had it transferred to someone else. If that’s the case then possibly there may be three things going on here: forgery, misconduct in office and theft. Or was it theft by false representation for telling the developer that the job cost $90K more than t did? If he did cook the books and the village held onto the money the village treasurer might have been none the wiser if the paperwork he submitted had the inflated numbers. So was the motive to steal the $90K or cover up overstating the job cost? Either way it’s bad but this makes no sense. The village owes an accounting/audit. A lot of people here are throwing around accusations about many people without proof and lathering up for whatever reason. If people are guilty, burn ’em. How many banks have tellers who embezzle under their noses for years? Or police departments with cops who screw up? Doesn’t mean everyone at the bank or the police department is dirty and in on it. We saw what happened in Kenosha when the governor and lieutenant governor instantly all but falsely accused Officer Shesky without an investigation or even a credible accusation and then in the end he was exonerated (which should have happened much earlier) and they still said the same lies. As a conservative I stand on the constitution for the people I like and for those that I don’t. I can’t have it both ways. If you can’t accept that you’re neither a conservative or a patriotic American and should get yourself to some country where people don’t have rights. The village employee or employees who were corrupt should be burned and the people are owed an honest explanation. But the stench will continue unless and until they open up and tell the truth.

  41. JR was selling a large semi-like trailer this week. It’s very concerning now that he knows people are onto his shenanigans and is likely taking down/ selling anything that can prove more guilt of theft/fraud. I wonder if that trailer was yet another item “purchased” from the auction for pennies on the dollar or better yet, stolen from the village highway department. As others have commented, he’s not the brightest bulb in the pack and Pollocoff gave him free rein. Oh how the night have fallen…seven felonies and counting for that jackass! The BOARD (Keckler, Klimisch & Kedrow) must demand the FBI get involved as this is serious embezzlement. Just look what happened in Dixon IL over 20!years with a $2million budget. Jr had a much larger playground to steal from and he knew he could get away as long as Pollocoff and Daddy were covering for him! Good grief, as taxpayers we demand a full audit and full restitution! Maybe they can sell some farm land to pay back the village for years of theft!

    1. Dipshit. That is called stealing. If you pay me $500 for something and it ends up only costing me $200 and don’t refund you….I’ve stolen $300 from you.

    2. I agree! I have been looking yet no local tv coverage at all. I actually sent the link to this and the Kenosha News article to TMJ4 and WISN…nothing.

  42. Word on the street is JR is gonna get off with a slap on the wrist since the Village Administrator, Kathy Goessl, is NOT pursuing any form of internal audit, fraud audit, or any investigation beyond what RCSO did. They put her in that position for a reason! She certainly doesn’t want to admit or reveal that as the Finance Director and Treasurer she didn’t catch or report the theft over the last 20 years. (Which is precisely why they made Thiel sign a waiver so he can’t talk- he DID pursue this criminal and lost his job as a result of it. Pollocoff and Steinbrink were/are scared of Thiel blowing the whistle even beyond what is known). Their pensions are at stake as well! That means taxpayers are out the money Jr stole, and no deeper investigation will be done to reveal the depth and total of dollars and equipment fraudulently stolen. Jr may have to pay a mere fine, and walk away laughing as he and daddy know they’ve benefited well into the millions. And he will keep his pension! VPP will be a laughing stock especially to Dixon Il where they never thought their trusted employee could steal $20 MILLION from a mere $8 million annual budget. DIG DEEPER, there is so much More theft!

    PLEASE CALL your board members and put pressure on all of them to seek FBI intervention and/or a fraud audit, and OUTSIDE independent investigation. Taxpayers demand it! Obviously it’s not worth your time to talk with Sr or Pollocoff as their knee deep involved in this too! If you dial *67 before their number you can remain anonymous.

    Kris Keckler – to remain anonymous dial *67 then his phone (262) 818-4315

    Dave Klimisch – to remain anonymous dial *67 then his phone (262) 697-3658

    James Kedrow – to remain anonymous dial *67 then his phone (847) 707-7723

  43. If this is all true some one needs to call the FBI office and share all of this information with them. Please call the FBI and let’s make nathen proud he lost his job for us knowing there was a chance of it. The residents need to keep pushing outside sources due to the inside sources have issues and it gets lost in translation.

  44. JR was an Asshole in high school – and sounds like he didn’t change much in +30 years. Karma is a bitch! Time for him to get fitted for a “onesie” to wear behind bars! Good riddance prick!

  45. Any judge that gives Steinbrink a free ride or light sentence will be looking at 20,000 Pleasant Prairie votes against them!!!

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