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Kenosha County Eye

Kenosha Plumbing Giant Tampered With Water Meter, Resulting In Lower Water Bill: Kenosha Water Utility

Residential Water Meter
(Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

Lee Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electric, Inc., most commonly known as Lee Plumbing, or Lee Mechanical is owned by Bob Lee, Jr – before that Bob Lee, Sr. According to a government website, Lee Plumbing took out almost $2.2 Million is PPP loans that were later forgiven.

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Brandon Quinn, COO Lee Mechanical (Lee Plumbing)

Lee Plumbing’s Chief Operating Officer, Brandon Quinn, is expected to go on trial next year in Racine County for a felony count of OWI (4th). Lee also hired the disgraced former City Administrator, Frank Pacetti after he left the City of Kenosha. The Racine Sheriff’s office asked the Racine DA to charge Pacetti with two felonies for misconduct in public office for allegations stemming from his position at the City of Kenosha.

Kenosha Water Utility General Manager Curt Czarnecki

KCE received a tip about something amiss with Lee Plumbing and their water meter. KCE made contact with Kenosha Water Utility General Manager Curt Czarnecki, who explained what happened. He told us that Water Utility staff visited the business earlier this year to complete a meter test. These tests are required to be performed by the Wisconsin Public Services Commission. “Upon arrival KWU staff observed plumbing that had been tampered with allowing water to bypass the water meter. Upon observation of this violation, the customer was required to bring the plumbing up to current code. Consumption history clearly indicated when the tampering occurred and therefore the customer was back billed based on historical average use.”

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KCE is told the new system now has a lock on it, and only the City has the key. We are unable to determine exactly how much water wasn’t billed for. The State of Wisconsin doesn’t make water bills a matter of public record due to privacy issues. We do know, however that the number is significant, as the company allegedly uses water tankers for some projects.

We reached out to Lee plumbing and didn’t receive a response.

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  • 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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18 Responses

  1. It is stunning how many wealthy Kenosha developers, business people, and mega-churches received six and seven figure PPP loans. Even regular schmucks got in on the feeding frenzy by getting five figure loans. These people cleaned a few offices. That program will do down in history as one of the most abused and corrupt government programs ever. The wealthy made out like bandits and future generations will be paying for it.

    I suggest that Kevin check the list of PPP recipients report their jackpot anytime he writes a story about a corrupt business seeking even more of an advantage over those of us who follow the rules. Corruption is fully and completely non-partisan.

  2. Though I like Bob personally I have not had good experiences with this company. Staff is rude and unhelpful when you call. And then one time they claimed I needed a new heat exchanger on a fairly new Trane built furnace and gave me a very costly estimate before suggesting that I buy a new furnace. I opened up and envelope and pulled out the warranty. The suggestion of a new furnace suddenly disappeared.

  3. Lee Plumbing contracted for a large local manufacturer and while they were paid to supply all material and labor, it was observed that much customer shop floor material was used for the contracted job. Yup, the customer paid twice for some of the materials.

  4. There’s no checks and balances in KWU to notice a company with a large water usage not paying a bill for a while.

  5. Lee’s Plumbing is a master plumber. They overcharge everyone. We recently discovered of a shotty job and shortcuts they did after paying them $7,000.

  6. Any smart company would take the PPP money and use it. As for the COO with the 4th OWI….how is that relevant to the story, makes it seem like you just have an axe to grind against this company?

    As for them knowingly stealing from the City…why arent they being fined and charged with a crime?

  7. KCE needs to look closer at this. Lee claimed PPP money using 5 different tax ID numbers. The $2.2M is not even close. The list I was shown puts the number much closer to $5M. All forgivable money but unforgivable scruples

  8. So, who’s under arrest for felony theft? If nobody, who is doing the investigation and can we get any status report? They can Stonewall all they want, but when you’ve got a plumbing contractor who plumbed around its own water meter, it wasn’t an accident and somebody’s got to go down for it. Otherwise, I suppose all of their licenses should be revoked, throwing them out of town in effect, until they make it right. Mark it as a crime scene, and padlock all the doors while we have a 5-year investigation?

  9. 4th DUI ? WTF ? Brandon Quinn is a hot headed scumbag in my opinion. Divorced twice ? Any other CEO in Kenosha would be on the front page of the Kenosha News and on the Milwaukee TV stations. Shame on the meatball Bob Lee Jr in my opinion for the cover up and screwing over the City of Kenosha water utility with the illegal bypass water hook up. Doesn’t seem to go with with all the charitable events and activities he puts his name on ? Maybe now he will learn to get his head out of his ass and keep a closer eye on the company his daddy gave him. A good lesson here for all the other 2nd generation asswipe boys in my opinion whose hardworking parents handed the world to them..

    1. Yep Brandon Quinn threw public record just purchased a new home west of the interstate for $800,000 and he was devoriced twice from the same lady . Ppp money at work and has for his dui’s 2&3 were close together and have been going on for years . More ppp money at work . And still no jail time ….

  10. Wow !! Used to be a nice family business. Guess money blinds even good people. They should try and regain that mind set. Maybe he’ll like his orange jump suit and flip flops. Serves him right. People with money always seem to slip through the cracks like the snakes they are.

  11. Everyone should remember that we live under a constitutional republic. When we forget that we become a banana republic. Let the facts lay as they will. Everyone in America has the right to due process. As a leader of a very large national organization I beg that you give them time. The facts will come out and people will be held to account.

    No one should rejoice in this news as it stains the whole industry, and most importantly; hurts people that may not have been a party to the allegations.

  12. Where there is fire, there is smoke! This sounds like the tip of the proverbial iceberg. What part of any of this sounds like sound business practices from a trusted contractor? Do you want them working in your home? Do you want them working on your furnace? Telling you that you need to replace it and trusting them?

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