KCE has received countless tips about bad behavior by employees and elected officials in Salem Lakes. Most of these have panned out. This has led board members to assert that KCE is somehow working for and being paid by one or more candidates. This is categorically false. I have briefly met some of the challenging candidates, but nothing more than a short conversation.
Michael Culat is a trustee for the Village of Salem Lakes and a local Realtor out of Antioch, IL. He previously worked as a police officer for the City of Antioch, IL, being hired in 1985 and allegedly leaving under suspicious circumstances in 1991. According to a police report written by his then-Lieutenant, he seemingly left the department so suddenly, that he had to be hounded by the police department to get their police equipment back from Culat.
KCE received multiple complaints about Culat’s behavior. First, we were told that there was a Village of Salem Lakes skid steer in his backyard for several months. He was alleged to be using the village-owned machine for his own personal use. We emailed him several times to ask him why the skid steer was in his rural back yard. He never responded. What do we do when government officials aren’t transparent? We asked him in public after a meeting while recording. He admitted to having the skid steer at his house but said he didn’t know who dropped it off or who picked it up. He said he never touched the skid steer and his fingerprints aren’t on it. He started to say that he didn’t see it, but then corrected himself, saying he did see it. He told us he didn’t use it, but wouldn’t say why it was there. We captured this interaction on camera:
Since we took this video and published it, someone brought it to the attention to the Kenosha Sheriff’s Department. They handed the investigation off to the Walworth County Sheriff since they have a conflict of interest. Captain Shannan Illingworth of the Walworth County Sheriff’s Office did confirm that she assigned detectives to investigate, but she said the investigation is in its early stages.
Another allegation brought the the attention to KCE was a real estate deal in the Village. Mike Culat had listed a property in the Village at 11230 260th Ave. He sold the property on September 9, 2020 and made approximately $3,360 in commission. A little more than three months later, on December 14, 2020, Culat made a motion to approve a conditional use permit for the new owners to allow tattooing, piercing, and outdoor entertainment in addition to the tavern. The vote was unanimous. We asked the new owner about the deal. He hung up on us after his wife was heard yelling in the background, “Is that Mathewson? Hang up!” We asked Culat via email why he didn’t abstain from the vote. He didn’t respond. Again, we asked him after a meeting. After asking repeatedly, he told us that he and “his lawyer” thought it wasn’t a conflict of interest. He then threatened to sue me for defamation if I wrote this article. Here is that bizarre confrontation: **I was not polite to Mr. Culat**
Salem Lakes Sex Offender Re-Offends
On March 19, 2018, the Salem Lakes Village Board voted unanimously to allow a sex offender, Daniel Olszewski to live near a park. The Salem Lakes board members at the time were Diann Tesar, Mike Culat, Dan Campion, Ted Kmiec and Bill Hopkins.
What is the worst that can happen if you vote to let a sex offender live near a park? He re-offends.
According to the criminal complaint:
On September 23, 2022, a Kenosha Sheriff’s Detective received a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. It had indicated that someone had uploaded images of child pornography in June of 2022. Detectives obtained a search warrant for the IP address and it came back to Olszewski’s home in Salem Lakes. The Wisconsin Attorney General’s Office, Department of Criminal Investigations joined the investigation. Investigators opined that Olszewski liked to look at underage girls that were of the same age and appearance of his young daughter. GPS and other data confirmed that the images were downloaded and shared by the defendant with email and Snap Chat.
The photos are described in the criminal complaint but KCE will not be providing further details. We stopped reading.
While the defendant’s home was being searched incident to a search warrant, police found a used marijuana bong and 20 improvised explosive devices in his bedroom.
Olszewski also is charged with violating his sex offender registration rules by not reporting his access to internet and email.
Olszewski faces a maximum of 406 years in the Wisconsin State Prison System.
We emailed all board members and only Teasr responded saying:
“This sex offender was granted leniency for two reasons. At the time, in Salem, a sex offender could not be within 2000 feet from a school, church, or playground. Mr. Olszewski was very close to that distance within 17 feet. (He was 1,983 feet away) At that time, because of legality, we were seriously contemplating to lower that requirement to 1500 feet. That is why the board allowed him to live there. Secondly, it was noted that he only wanted to live there temporarily with his mother. This is why he was granted permission. “