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Embattled Kenosha County Health Director Resigns

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Kenosha County Health Department Director Jen Freiheit
(youtube.com)

Kenosha County Health Department Director Jen Freiheit has resigned, KCE can report. Her last day with the county will be March 15, 2023.

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Freiheit was an extremely controversial health director here in Kenosha County. She was universally loved by the left for promoting mandatory masking for the public and children in schools. She advocated against kids going to school. The Kenosha News named Kenosha County Health Director Jen Freiheit their “2020 person of the year.” She is extremely popular among those that want mask mandates and for schools to be virtual-only. She makes $110,000 per year since December of 2019 when she was appointed by County Executive James Kreuser (D). She has a PhD in Urban Education. In her most recent position, she was Milwaukee’s Chief Deputy Health Commissioner. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Freiheit was “pushed out” from the department for concerns about her job performance. According to her boss, Jeanette Kowalik, there was a “great concern about [Freiheit’s] integrity” and she was asked to resign. Some county board supervisors argued against hiring a heath director marred with allegations of misconduct, but the majority-democrat board voted to hire her. Even though Freiheit is a woman and looks like a woman, she signs her emails with “she/her” to let others know that she is “woke”.

Her “wokeness” may have put her and Kenosha County in serious legal trouble. According to the Wisconsin Institution of Law and Liberty, Freiheit had to be reminded that she doesn’t have the authority to close schools. The group stated in part:

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“We have received multiple reports from parents that the Kenosha County health department has told school boards and schools administrators in Kenosha County that it has the power to close schools, and will close schools, if they do not follow the health department’s recommendations or
meet various metrics created by the health department. One recent document from the health department (attached to this letter) states that certain “indicators will trigger a transition to at-home learning for all staff and students in a school or the district.” Another email from a school district administrator to families in the district noted that “Kenosha County Public Health has shared they would intervene and require a move to virtual instruction for all of our students if we reached a point of 3% active infections. The Kenosha health department’s position is wrong; it does not have the power to close schools. We write this letter to remind the health department, as well as local school boards, school administrators, and parents in Kenosha County and elsewhere, of the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s decision this summer (in a case brought by WILL), holding that “local health officers do not have the power to close schools.” James v. Heinrich, 2021 WI 58, ¶ 26, 960 N.W.2d 350.”

State Representative and County Court Supervisor Amanda Nedweski
(Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

KCE reached out to state representative and County board supervisor Amanda Nedweski, who also chairs the Human Services committee for comment.

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“During Dr. Freiheit’s tenure, we certainly learned some valuable lessons about public health and the important benefits and limits of its role in our lives.  The pandemic highlighted the need to review, revise, and perhaps, enact new laws that support the government response to a health emergency while also protecting individual liberty. In my position as the Chair of the Kenosha County Human Services committee since April of 2022, I have further developed an appreciation for what the role and responsibilities of a County Health Director should be. Without a doubt, the local response to Covid-19 led by Dr. Jen inspired me to run for both local and state office, and I wish her well on the next leg of her journey.”

Republican Party of Kenosha County Chair Sandy Wiedmeyer

KCE reached our to both local parties. Democrat chair Lori Hawkins didn’t respond to a request for comment. Republican Party of Kenosha County Chair Sandy Wiedmeyer had the following to say of Freiheit’s departure:

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“Dr Freiheit served Kenosha County in what was a very difficult  time, which drew much attention to the Health Department and Freiheit’s controversial handling of the policies surrounding the pandemic. I am hopeful that the search for her replacement will produce a Director whose thought processes around policy making will better align with the needs and values of Kenosha County.”

Kenosha County Executive Samantha Kerkman
(Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

“I thank Dr. Freiheit for her service to the community, and wish her well in her future endeavors,” said County Executive Samantha Kerkman said Friday afternoon.

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Kerkman received Freiheit’s letter of resignation today and said the County would be posting the job in the coming weeks.

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41 Responses

  1. What about the HR director? She was on the hot seat a few times during county board meetings. During a committee meeting, they gave her until June (of ‘21 or ‘22)? To clean up her act, but turnover rates of county employees is still rising, and exit interviews still aren’t happening. Benefits are getting worse, and she’s refusing to be accountable to her actions. When will the County Exec or County Board hold her accountable? Kevin, do you have any information on this leech on the county teat?

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  2. Kenosha County does a piss poor job at times of recruiting and retaining key personnel. Many salaries were not competitive (sheriff’s deputies among them) while others were overpaid. Maybe they can up the salary and find someone with more of a medical background.

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    1. Have you seen the new “We’re hiring” magnets on the county vehicles? What a joke. You don’t work to keep the employees you have, AND the area knows that Kenosha County is a joke of an employer. Employees used to stay until retirement. Now, they start in Kenosha, because Kenosha County will literally hire ANYONE, and then the good ones move somewhere where they will be appreciated.

  3. Kevin, can you sometime write an article explaining what happened with the Kenosha Republican Party? I know that Decker was forced out, but I’m not quite sure what happened.

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    1. A story was published about what happened months ago, nobody was forced out. The next story should be about why the new leadership of the Kenosha GOP didn’t find someone to run against SLIMEbrink SR in the village! In the words of the Donald….SAD!!

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      1. The PARTY didnt have to do squat. The residents of PP should have stepped to the plate and run on their own to protect their community. NOT ONE took the time to use the ugly news to their advantage. PP is an example of a lazy population wanting everyone else to do the job. The voters there get who they elect and they get whoever decides to run. This isnt on any organized party. This is on the electors themselves. The village should be so proud! NOT!

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        1. The most important job of the party is to help elect conservatives. They are to provide information, training, and support to candidates throughout the process. This is ? on rpkc.

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        2. Going to put you in on a little secret. Most residents of PP don’t really care about some blue collar fuck using his work truck (Steinbrink) for personal stuff or for using PP public works people to do stuff on his property. Most PP people are middle to upper class and work outside Kenosha…..none of that stuff really affects us.

          Steinbrink is a POS….but his family is small potatoes in the grand scheme of having any sort of effect on residents’ lives. They may have had power over PP employees….but they aren’t really shit to anyone else in the community.

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      2. Ask the new board. They will tell you that efforts were made across the county. When the old board members left and there was next to no passing of information, the conservatives in the County are the ones who paid the highest price. Usually there is a transfer of knowledge and information. Many on the old board made sure this did not happen.

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    2. Decker was not forced out. She left on her own accord and unfortunately took many other long time board members with her. Those same people, with Decker leading, are the very people who worked hard for years to flip Kenosha red and had a lot of success. The current board didn’t even bother to help
      find conservatives to run this spring. Not only in PP, but in Bristol and elsewhere. A total lefty is running unopposed for school board in April in Bristol. It’s a shame. ANY conservative could have beat her. Do your job Kenosha gop!

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  4. He/ she/ it/ her pronoun now is gone !!!! She will without a doubt turn up in Madison.

    I had a conversation with her the day after the Wisconsin Supreme Court struck down Evers lockdown. She was going to continue to try and enforce it
    My last statement to her was you can’t enforce that is not enforceable. You better made sure your on solid legal footing because you and me will be seeing each other in court . That same afternoon she lifted the order in Kenosha.

  5. So will Evers be hiring her for some high pay state job?

    Don’t worry, once democrats get Janet Protasiewicz on the Supreme Court, they’ll close schools and we’ll all be wearing masks again for the 2024 election.

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  6. Why do we even need this position? It doesn’t serve me in any way. Why do I have to keep paying taxes to support rich Democratic politicians? Kerkman is a disappointment. This person needed to admonished not lauded.

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  7. Many on the previous RPKC board resigned the day after elections… with no explanation. Nobody was forced out. There was no transfer of information to new leadership. Because of the lack of cooperation from the previous board, the new board was left to “recreate” the wheel. Candidate recruitment for Spring elections should have begun prior to November. New board stepped up to help roughly 3 weeks before new candidate nomination papers started circulating.

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    1. Totally agree. Recruitment for spring candidates should have begun months ago. There is/was actually a “Recruitment Committee “ which has been a complete failure for Spring. People like Tom N step up and them do nothing . Also, how long are you going to blame the failures of the current board on the old board?? lol

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      1. New board has been in place for 3 months. It’s going to take more than 3 months to piece together all that was not passed along/shared by the old board. We should thank and support the new board for taking on the mess that was left. How about we come together as a community. That would be nice.

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        1. How about telling the truth? There are several new board members but there are also long term board members still on the board, including a FORMER CHAIR. He knows exactly what needs to be done and how to do it. In addition, there are several newer board members who’ve been on for a year or more. They should be experienced by now. Ridiculous to blame those that resigned for the current failures of rpkc.

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  8. You have the angriest people on these threads. Its Really sad this is how they live there pitiful lives. Their still mad that people wanted to help others during a global pandemic.,

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  9. A solid win as long as the next director stays in his or her lane. Any rules created by organizational leaders should only apply to their organization and not to the public without vetting of the elected body, which means we need to replace the progressive/socialist politicians with fair minded people who put freedom first.

    The majority of Kenosha residents hate the bs politics of progressiveness – which means Socialism/Communism.

  10. Well, the new RPKC were all about getting rid of Erin and to kick the old board members to the curb in one night. They planned a coup and managed to get 75 friends to become new members, and they were unsuccessful in their takeover – didn’t plan it too well and the new members couldn’t vote. Some of their dumbest became board members and now they’re left in charge. Can’t blame the old board for lack of candidates, because the new board members were in charge of recruiting.

    Wishing them all the best. I just don’t see them putting in the work to keep Kenosha red. They like having the wine parties like the RWSEW group.

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    1. So many errors in that statement. Some of the members of the new board put in a lot of work to assist the county in flipping seats.
      Doesn’t take much to put together the time line and realize that the new board had under a month to figure out what had and had not been done. If certain members of the old board truly cared about the work that had been done, they would have cooperated in a smooth transition. They stepped down on the own accord and screwed the conservatives of the county in the way it was done.

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      1. Amy N, you’ve been on the board for almost two years now. If you still don’t know “what to do” then I guess you didn’t do much in those two years? How about Matt, who is former CHAIRMAN? Several other board members aren’t new either. Stop with the excuses, you guys have control now. Enjoy !!! Hope you work as hard as the former board members did and keep Kenosha red!!

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  11. Some of these comments above are completely absurd. BUT, I can tell you this: I know Ms. Freiheit outside of her professional life and even in her personal life she can be incredibly difficult to get along with. One of my children was friends for a time with one of her children, and it was a very eye-opening experience. Her child had extremely poor behavior that he would try to blame on my child, but he didn’t realize that I started watching them after the first few accusations to see what was really happening. Then, her child would have the most epic screaming fits on the street that wouldn’t respond to anything and you’d kind of think WTH? But then Jen would come outside screaming and yelling at the top of her lungs even louder than her child was, and it was very obvious where her child learned it from.

    There was also this constant, really palpable sense of superiority that was hard to explain. I’ve met a lot of snobs before, but this was different. There was something being communicated nonverbally to me that just even as a person, I was somehow not acceptable. Why? I’m not sure. Maybe too fat? Not wealthy enough? Too brown? IDK, but when I read about her being progressive, I can’t help but think that it must have only been for show. I have spoken with other parents in the area as well, one of whom came to me sobbing one day because they just couldn’t deal with her anymore, and the consensus was that the least common denominator was definitely her.

    So my prognosis is a lot of short-lived positions unless she finds one where she is just sort of an off-shoot and doesn’t really need to have frequent interactions with other strong personalities.

  12. Glad s he’s gone. She caused a lot of trouble. And I can’t believe that Evers won the election fair and square. I t think he used the scamdemic to his advantage. Everyone best be wary of anything the current governors administration tells us.

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