Tuesday night, the Kenosha Joint Services board decided to close its doors to the public and meet in secret about the criminal investigation into corruption and misconduct allegations within the organization. According to Kenosha City Administrator John Morrissey, the board was being briefed on the investigation into the two men on administrative leave. Although Morrissey didn’t name the men or the law enforcement agency involved, KCE has received confirmation. Pat Sepanski, Fleet Maintenance Manager and Sebastian Kawca, ID/Evidence Supervisor, are the two that are currently on leave. The law enforcement agency investigating is the Walworth County Sheriff’s Department.
When KCE was contacted by an employee whistle-blower about the allegations of corruption, we sent the information to the organization without naming the whistle-blower. Joint services Director Josh Nielsen, his assistant, Stephanie Lorenzo, and board Chairman, Monica Yuhas didn’t want law enforcement involved in the investigation and seemingly wanted to cover the allegations up. Nielsen, Lorenzo, and Yuhas have ignored countless emails and phone calls. Last night, we caught up with Nielsen and asked him several questions. He got very nervous, and his hands started to shake. Here is the encounter below:
KCE was asked by employees of Joint Services who they could call to give statements to. Neither Nielsen nor Lorenzo would tell us. They didn’t want the employees to know who to contact to give statments. County Executive Kerkman told us the Racine County Sheriff was investigating. We learned that wasn’t true. KCE had to contact at least eight law enforcement agencies until we found the correct one – The Walworth County Sheriff’s Office.
Captain Staggs was kind enough to give us a comment on November 17, 2022, saying in part:
“On or about October 19th, 2022, the Walworth County Sheriff’s Office was requested by the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Office to review and investigate potential criminal violations based on information they provided, along with Kenosha County Joint Services. The nature of this information will not be released at this time as it is an ongoing investigation. However, the scope of the investigation was for any criminal violations that arose from their request and our subsequent investigation.”
Kenosha County Board Chairman Gabe Nudo, who seemed interested in gaining more information about the probe was also in attendance Tuesday night. The county ordinances allow the Chairman to attend closed session meetings, even of boards he is not a member of. Yuhas, however ordered Nudo out of the room. “I think it’s the wrong decision [to order me out of the room],” said Chairman Nudo to Yuhas, “but you’re the chairman….for now,” he continued.
One of the men on leave, Sebastian Kawka’s immediate supervisor, Joshua Randandt spoke during the citizen’s comment portion of the meeting. While he didn’t defend his subordinate, who is on leave, he praised the director, seemingly trying to negate the large about of negative attention Nielsen is getting.
When the investigation is over, KCE will obtain all of the investigative reports and finally be able to report what is going on. Until then, the bosses at Joint Services want to keep the tax-payers in the dark.