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Kenosha County Eye

John Steinbrink, Jr Sues Village of Pleasant Prairie To Prevent Release Of Records To Kenosha County Eye

John Steinbrink, Jr
(Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

The disgraced former Director of Public Works for the Village of Pleasant Prairie has sued the Village to prevent Kenosha County Eye from obtaining records of his alleged misconduct. John Steinbrink, Jr, the son of Village president, John Steinbrink Sr, filed suit on September 2, 2022 in Kenosha Circuit Court.

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In the complaint, Steinbrink alleges that the Village shouldn’t release the records to KCE because he hasn’t been yet convicted of a crime. He is asking the court to order that the Village to be restrained, or prohibited, from disclosing records.

On July 27, 2022 KCE made a public records request to the Village of Pleasant Prairie for the Village’s investigation into allegations of misconduct by Jr. Junior has since been charged with seven felonies in reference to these allegations.

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The Village came to the legal conclusion that the Village must release these records and sent Jr. a letter notifying him of such. State law gives Jr. the legal right to ask a judge to block our access to these records.

Junior states that the records are not public records because they were created as part of an inconclusive employment investigation and the investigation is still ongoing. The public records law allows the government to withhold records pertaining to open investigations only if they can show that it will hinder the ongoing investigation. Junior also says the records should not be released because he “has not been convicted of any related crimes.”

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Since this author is the requester, the statute allows him to intervene and KCE has made a motion today to intervene.

We asked Steinbrink’s civil attorney, Ben Hitchcock Cross why his client is afraid of the Village releasing public documents and we didn’t hear back.

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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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31 Responses

  1. I would like to know what Jrs benefit package looks like that he received from the Village when he “retired”.
    It’s funny now he is suing the Village to keep from having Eye get investigative records turned over. Must really be a hard pill to swallow that one day you are on top of the world in this little Village treating your employees like shit, stealing from the taxpayers, and the next minute you are trying to keep your ass outta jail. Good luck with that.

    1. Why does this imbecile keep wearing sunglasses indoors? It’s not a valid disguise. He has been seen at establishments wearing these idiotic sunglasses indoors as if no one will notice him! He gets my vote for dumb ass of the year!!

  2. The Kenosha County Eye is doing exactly what media outlets should do: Watch what government officials do and report on it. That tends to reduce government corruption.

    Since the local media never reports on any of this, government officials believe they are not accountable. Yes, Kenosha News, your worthless newspaper enabled all of this. That is why your paper is irrelevant. I just had to say this. I am sure the cowardly editors and reporters read the KCE.

    I hope the KCE continues in it service to our community. There is a market for real news about important things.

    1. Greeno isn’t any different. Corruption will continue with him in the same position as Steinbrink Jr. was in.

  3. What a douche bag!! Obviously the truth hurts and it’s all public record and anyone can go to CCAP and get all the charges against him and read all the court info. Lock him up already and throw away the key!!

  4. So, is this is real reason for my property value increase that we just received this past week? To pay for Jr’s severance package???

    1. Right?! Almost a 50% increase with no improvements in the past year! That was my first thought, too! Again. The Village residents are made to pay for this debauchery.

    2. Certainly not here to defend Junior, but I believe your property value increase is due to the fact the Village hasn’t make any changes to this for four years. If you go to sell your home, you’ll be glad their assessed value has been adjusted to the new reality. Most importantly, what did your total property TAX do? Mine went down 9%.

  5. Too bad incompetence isn’t prosecutable. Make sure to wear a mouth guard if riding a bicycle across the Des Plaines River pedestrian bridge located between Lake Andrea and River Road or you could lose some teeth. Keep in mind it was built this uneven on day one, the wood was horribly warped before it was installed. Then the Des Plaines has flooded over the wooden bridge every couple of years since installation. Leaving many rotting boards for which someone will probably eventually fall through leaving the taxpayers with even more financial burden.
    Who ok’d the height of this bridge and it’s construction? A small fortune was spent on it…

    1. You can thank Jim Kreuser, Kenosha’s number one idiot for that bridge along with the liberal County Board Supervisors who supported it!! And yes, some of the initial cost was on the backs of Kenosha taxpayers and all future maintenance will be for sure. It serves very few people. What a waste of money- I believe over 1.5 million and counting!

    2. Didn’t one of the articles speak of how proud his daddy was that he built bridges over parking lots ? Maybe there’s your answer?

  6. I would never claim ahead of time that someone was innocent or guilty, but thank you for your tireless quest to simply get us information..

  7. So when the village is in a lawsuit, that is certainly discussed in closed session at the Village Board. Meaning John Sr, aka Jrs Daddy, is still President presiding over his sons case against the village and any decision related to it . How the hell is he still in office? Taxpayers aught to be furious that Sr’s not representing the TAXPAYERS as he’s too busy keeping his kid outa jail where he belongs! Keep on this story KCE, get those records and let’s see how much other BS jr has gotten away with!

  8. Well said! Who is representing the taxpayers. Sickening to see how far certain people will go to protect this lying, cheating, stealing individual. (all proven facts) If junior is so innocent what does he have to worry about, or is daddy worried that something might spin off onto him. So once again the taxpayers are spending more money on a Steinbrink because of Juniors passion to be a dink! Oh yes, don’t forget you are paying his pension because they allowed him to resign instead of firing him and putting him in cuffs. Don’t forget the free year of salary to keep Theil quite. If this was anyone else other than the Village President’s MAN CHILD they would have prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Others were let go from the Village for so much less than this lying, cheating, stealing individual.

  9. Jrs court date is November 1- let’s keep the pressure on this case to ensure taxpayers get full restitution and his ass gets jail time as he deserves! He, daddy and family are out in the community gaslighting everyone, saying he’s innocent and such a great asset to the village. WTF?! He stole millions, has ruined multiple vehicles and equipment while at VPP, had employees ON WORK TIME do WORK ON HIS HOUSE, and SRs property, and he’s continuing to receive retirement and insurance perks, compliments of taxpayers since VPP administration (Kathy Goessl) didn’t fire him for theft! Anyone else see this as a problem? So have they hired a new Administrator or is Goessl the new administrative and now receiving a golden parachute to see Jr through this mess? Let’s not forget her incompetence to look the other way while he robbed the village blind! Sheesh village hall needs to be gutted….

  10. Here is Jrs accomplice. Nice way the Village can spin their shit

    Planned Retirement
    On August 5, after 17 years of public service to the Village of Pleasant Prairie, Human Resources Director Carol Willke entered retirement. Carol joined the Village in 2005 and was tasked with establishing a Human Resources Department. In 2008 she was again challenged with becoming the Interim Recreation Director and served dual roles for eight years.
    Willke announced her intention to set aside her duties in advance and worked toward a succession plan that spanned four years. The strategy helped progress Tracy Hennessey, the Village Human Resources Manager, into the role of Director.
    “The succession planning process allowed
    me time to assist in the transition and fill
    my vacancy before retiring,” said Willke. “I enjoyed working for the Village of Pleasant Prairie and worked to leave my legacy of professionalism in qualified hands. I am grateful for the opportunity to have contributed to an amazing Village and collaborate with so many wonderful people.”
    The Village appreciates Willke for her many years of service and dedication to Village staff and the Pleasant Prairie community.

  11. Interim Public Works Director Appointed
    On July 7, the Village of Pleasant Prairie announced the succession plan for the Department of Public Works following the June 28 retirement of the former Public Works Director.
    To ensure a smooth transition for Public Works and residents moving forward, the Village has appointed a leadership team to share the duties of the department. Tom Hupp, Public Works Manager of Technical Support, has been named Interim Public Works Director. He is assisted in leadership by Rick Greeno, the Superintendent of Operations. Both Hupp and Greeno have accepted new responsibilities and will maintain the department goals and priorities while the Village searches for the next Public Works Director.
    The Village is now in full summer mode, a time in Pleasant Prairie when the Public Works Department and Village truly shine. The Village offers year-round community services that maintain local parks for recreation, sports, and fitness. Prairie Springs Park comes to life each summer with beachgoers, competitive sporting events, and nationally known triathlons. Village staff are busy planning for the future in Pleasant Prairie, and we look forward to sharing those plans.

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