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County Board Probes Allegations Of D.A.R.E. Funds Being Misused By Sheriff Candidate

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Ray Rowe (D)
Candidate for Kenosha Sheriff

Expensive hotels? Fancy meals? Golfing? Christmas gifts for deputies? If you ever donated money to the Kenosha County D.A.R.E. program, you probably never thought your money would fund luxuries for Deputy friendly Ray Rowe and his friends. You probably thought the money would go toward helping keep Kenosha’s youth off drugs. Maybe to help lower Kenosha’s record crime numbers. When one donates to D.A.R.E., they are told it goes to D.A.R.E and Deputy Friendly, not a slush fund, as some are alleging.

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This past Wednesday, August 3, 2022, The County Board’s Judiciary and Law Committee Chaired by Supervisor Zach Rodriguez had some tough questions for the Sheriff’s Department Fiscal Manager Angela Khabbaz. Khabbaz, a Democrat who has her preferred pronouns of she/her prominently displayed on her social media accounts, was combative and defensive with the elected leaders from the beginning of the meeting. She was obviously coached by the Sheriff before the meeting on how to answer the questions. Most of the questions asked Wednesday night, however she couldn’t answer.

Accounting for the last several years obtained by KCE shows a history of lavish spending of the D.A.R.E dollars by Deputy Friendly Raw Rowe, who is on the ballot next Tuesday to be our next Sheriff.

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Rowe gave $7,500 of the D.A.R.E. dollars to a local non-profit, called the Kenosha Concerned Citizens Coalition. Khabbaz wasn’t able to tell the local leaders what this organization spent all the money on, but she did tell them that Ray Rowe and Sheriff Beth are on the board. The non-profit hasn’t filed their annual form 990 in years so there is no way for the public to know how they are spending the money, or really even what the organization does. The Coalition hasn’t updated its website in years and there is nothing on the Facebook page. The only online presence is a fundraiser Dave Beth promoted at Stage Stop.

The accounting records also show thousands being spent on fancy meals and expensive hotels. Rowe and a co-worker even stayed at a hotel in Lake Geneva, about a 45 minute drive from Kenosha County. From the amount that was spent on meals, they likely dined in style.

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For Christmas last year, Rowe gave Sheriff Beth permission to use almost $5,000 of the D.A.R.E. money to purchase expensive coolers for the entire sworn staff at the Sheriff’s department. While the Deputies deserve a gift, many contend there is plenty of money in the Sheriff’s budget to buy gifts and the D.A.R.E. money shouldn’t be misappropriated.

Expensive Steak Served
At D.A.R.E. Outing

Close to $20,000 was spent at the annual D.A.R.E. outing at Twin Lakes Country Club owned by business mogul Chad Cantwell. He also donated more than $3,000 to Rowe’s campaign. He paid too much, in fact, that he had to be refunded some money.

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We didn’t hear back from Rowe or Sheriff Beth when contacted Friday evening. The primary is this coming Tuesday, August 9, 2022. The committee is expected to hold future meetings to probe the suspicious expenses.

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  1. More coke flows thru these two locations than a Mexican border town. Can’t be to surprised when Beth and his posse are involved. The Feds need to come in and investigate these less than honorable boys, who should be in a metal cage. IMHO!

    The public got a view of this behavior with G.I. Joe Gliniewicz from Fox Lake Illinois. Turn the tables over sir, these drunken slobs should be run out of town on a donkey.

  2. Hmmm. Cops spend a lot of time at crime and crash scenes. Nothing wrong with coolers so they can keep hydrated. As for the rest…maybe the explanation needs to come from the DARE officer and the sheriff themselves.

  3. P.S.: Got Rowe’s flyer in the mail today. Forget about the smear campaign (I don’t buy political bullshit in the days before an election) but has he come up with one reason to vote for him? He’s the only candidate for sheriff who hasn’t offered any clues as to what he’d do as sheriff.

  4. Nothing wrong is with the coolers if they were purchased using sheriff dept funds. Or if the sheriff paid for them out of his own pocket. Using DARE funds for non-DARE items is a misappropriation of funds, especially when DARE golf outing do or forms say funds raised will be used for DARE and Deputy friendly programs.

  5. Speaking of false campaign claims… received Nedewski’s mailer and she states she is the Vice Chair of the County Board. A blatant lie and false. She just has shown me she’s not a person with integrity. She’s just another politician who will lie, cheat, and steal to win an election. Not to mention, if she does win this seat, she will be a DOUBLE DIPPER!!! I hope the Kenosha County Eye will look into this and call her out like you have done with other candidates. If you don’t, you’re in her camp Kevin and truly not a reputable news source.

      1. Kevin, why do you dismiss $6000 as peanuts? When John Steinbrink Sr. was a state representative and a village president making the same salary, you and the Kenosha republican party always called him a double dipper. So now when someone from your party is trying to do the same thing, you are trying to justify it. There’s an old saying, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. It’s just amazing to me the hypocrisy of the Kenosha republican party. This is why many good Republicans have walked away from this organization.

        1. Good example. Steinbrink wasn’t above average in the assembly and I never understood how he could do both jobs well.

      2. I just voted for her to be on the county board and now she’s running for the legislature? Which job do you really want? I don’t care who it is but it royally pisses me off when someone runs for one office and then goes out looking for another. The job of county supervisor is not always simpatico with state legislator. I didn’t like it when Steinbrink was both.

  6. Kevin, where is your article about Zoerner running as a republican, then demorat and now a Republican? How about the picture of Zoerner cozying up to Evers and wearing a vagina hat at the 2016 inauguration. I have reached out to Zoerner numerous times via email but no explanation. IF Zoerner wins (I voted for Brian) the Republican primary I may take a look at the Democrat because there will be no difference between the two candidates

    1. Hey Tom. Hope you are well. It is pretty much common knowledge that Dave ran as a Democrat as a political strategy to beat our disaster of a sheriff. He was even able to defeat a real democrat, Andy Berg. Just like one of our great sheriffs, Sheriff David Clark of Milwaukee County, sometimes to become elected you need to run as a certain party. Back then the county was blue and now the Red Wave hit it. I’ve interacted with Dave many times and can vouch that he is a true conservative. I have also taken a photo with Tony Evers and Joe Biden. I also have photos with great leaders like Scott Walker and Ron Johnson. I don’t think it’s anything telling to get a picture with a politician that you do not agree with.

      1. Clark was a guy who said a lot of things that needed to be said but then it went to his head. As for running the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Department his record is less stellar.

      2. What the Hell is wrong with our party and what is a true conservative. Just saw Club For Growth ad attacking Kleefisch and yet they were the ones backing her and Walker back in the day. Shame on them.

    2. Tom, why have you not questioned him directly, or listened to him during MANY events that you attended as well? If Zoerner wins the primary, why would you vote for a Democrat over Zoerner? IF Rowe wins, would you vote for him? (He’s a Democrat running as a Republican. Beth ran as a Republican and is a Democrat too). They do it all the time. A Republican uses the same strategy once, and you all turn against him.

  7. Politics makes strange bedfellows! I guess the old idea of being true to what you believe in is out the window. A person who adorned another fashion of believes to further their own agenda is telling of their moral compass and loyalties. The Democratic Party have embraced the socalist ideals from local elections all the way up to the President. Conservatives are constitutional minded and loyal to the American way of life that we know . Question if you truly believe in being a socalist and so many county and city elected officials are and do why would you not embrace your inter socalist and run in those merits ? Being a conservative i live by the American ideals . To socalist calling themselves conservatives don’t piss down my back and tell me it’s raining !

    1. True conservatives are loyal to the constitution. CINOs (like many Republicans in office today) are opportunistic and lack fidelity to values. But why should sheriff be a political office anyway? It’s not a policy position. I want the best qualified person for the job and this year none have wowed me. I like Dave and have had dinner with him more than once but he hasn’t shown me that he gets what being sheriff is about. Ditto for Rowe. Gonzales would be a nonstop battle with Michael Bell, sr. That leaves two other choices.

  8. Let’s try to stay on topic here. Rowe misused the D.A.R.E funds and definitely can’t be trusted. Investigate him, just don’t elect him.

    1. Did he misuse them or are there just suspicions that they were misused. What if Dave Beth or someone else misused them? Lots of smoke, few details.

      1. Three people approve spending. Rowe, Captain Miller and someone from Finance. At least that is what can be heard in recording of the committee meeting.

  9. The spending controls for the Sheriff are not as stated and was not stated in the JLEC meeting as above. The Sheriff can approve a purchase directly with finance doesn’t need anyone else. DARE funds are no different. Rowe does not have approval powers as a Deputy. It runs up the chain of command and ultimately ends with the Sheriff.

  10. 1. Did the county board direct or hold an investigation or was it questions from individual supervisor(s) at a committee hearing? Headline says county board investigation.
    2. Was there a misappropriation or just suspicions of it?
    3. Who directed the payment of funds from the DARE account? Rowe or others?
    4. Are there restrictions on the funds? If so, what are they?
    5. Who is authorized to disburse the funds?
    People might be upset if these funds weren’t spent on DARE related offenses but was there any actual wrongdoing and, if so, by whom?

    1. Yes. If Rowe did something wrong, he should be burned; if not, he should be exonerated on the day before the election. And if a crime was committed there ought to be an investigation by an outside agency.

  11. Concerned Citizens Coalition on Alcohol & Other Drug Abuse is a 501(c)(3) organization. My guess if if DARE money went to it for drug prevention education purposes it would be legit.

  12. Mr. Mau hasn’t offered any real solutions except to complain. Why not consolidate services? And has the city done anything to see if its getting its money’s worth for taxes city residents pay to the county? What about cross-training police and firefighters or at least some police and EMS? Where is the leadership?

  13. It’s now one week after the election. Crickets.

    If this was a serious enough matter before the election it should still be and we should get some answers.

  14. The Kenosha Snooze finally woke up to this.

    There may be something here albeit not necessarily a crime and Deputy Rowe may not be the culprit. There appears to be some loose financial controls here.

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