Pleasant Prairie Village Clerk Jane Snell (D) once called a pro-life display at St. Anne’s Catholic Church obnoxious, and had the Pleasant Prairie Police Department force the priest to take down part of the display because she thought it was advocating for a particular candidate. She wields her authority liberally, without accountability from village administration. Yesterday, KCE submitted a public records request to Snell via the Village of Pleasant Prairie website. We asked for something very specific and seemingly random. We asked for all emails between the disgraced former public works director John Steinbrink, Jr and another village employee, Nathan Wilkinson between March 1 and March 31, 2021. Today, she sent us an email saying that there were “no responsive records” and she closed out our request. Here is what Jane didn’t know: There was a recent court filing by Steinbienk’s attorney that highlights several emails in that time period between Steinbrink and Wilkinson in which Steinbrink asks Wilkinson to falsify records. In other words, we knew that emails exist in that time period between the two according to Racine County Sheriff’s police reports. Snell, for whatever reason lied to us and said there were no emails.
We reached out to the new village administrator, Eric Rindfleisch and asked him if she concealed the records on her own, or if he told her to conceal them. He responded by telling us that her response was “correct” becuase “Ms. Snell does not have access to old emails.” He later stated that the IT department will be expediting our request. We asked him to explain. He didn’t. Snell denied our request and closed out the case. Now Rindfleisch is having the emails that don’t exist, produced, but says she was correct that there are no emails. If you are confused, so are we. Rindfleisch is brand new to the area and apparently doesn’t understand that the “eye” is 11 for 11 with public records denial lawsuits/and or legal appeals. He will learn the next time he lies about the presence of emails. Of course, when we receive the emails, we will share them with our readers. In fact, KCE won a lawsuit last month against John Steinbrink, Jr in reference to public records.
“You don’t disagree with Steinbrink, Jr. If you do, you’re going to be out of a job” said one of the employee whistleblowers in the Pleasant Prairie corruption investigation to an investigator with the Racine County Sheriff’s Office.
The disgraced former Village of Pleasant Prairie public works director was charged with seven felonies related to corruption, enough to put him behind bars for decades. In the six-page criminal complaint filed on 7/19/2022, Steinbrink, Jr was formally charged with one count of Theft – False Representation between $10,000 and $100,000 and six counts of felony Misconduct in Public Office – Excess Authority. The former carries a maximum prison sentence of 10 years, and the latter, 3.5 years each.
John Steinbrink, Jr is the son of John Steinbrink, Sr who recently won reelection as Pleasant Prairie Village President as he ran unopposed.
Coincidentally, pursuant to a lawsuit victory last month, The Village of Pleasant Prairie will be turning over documents tomorrow.