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Documents Obtained Via Lawsuit Outlines Village-Wide Knowledge Of Steinbrink Corruption

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John Steinbrink, Jr. In Court For Felony Corruption Charges
(File Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

Documents obtained by Kenosha County Eye after we won a lawsuit suggest that the alleged corruption of John Steinbrink, Jr was almost universally known about for more than 20 years by village staff.

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The disgraced former Village of Pleasant Prairie public works director John Steinbrink, Jr was charged with seven felonies related to corruption, enough to put him behind bars for decades. In the six-page criminal complaint filed last year he 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.

Fatal Public Works Plow Truck Accident

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On December 12, 2000 at about 9:12pm, a Pleasant Prairie man heard sirens approaching his home on a dead end road with a cul-de-sac. The man soon learned the reason for the sirens. There was a terrible accident that occurred just a few houses away at 7225 51st Ave. A 51-year-old Kenosha woman named Evonnee Wheeler had been run over by a Pleasant Prairie snow-plow that was driving in reverse. Sadly, Mrs. Wheeler passed away. The man that lived down the road offered his driveway to the village for a turn around point for the snow plows four or five years earlier. He thought it was dangerous for a plow to backup for two blocks. According to multiple village employees, on the evening of December 12, 2000, John Steinbrink, Jr, the highway superintendent at the time, ordered the plow to be worked on before the State Patrol inspected it the next morning. According to the supervisor, Steinbrink Jr ordered the plow to be “gone over.” He said the employees had the truck torn apart and a backup alarm and reverse lights were installed that night. The work on the truck would continue all night. According to the report, Steinbrink ordered the work to reduce liability to the Village upon inspection by the State Patrol. Multiple employees knew about this.

Inappropriate Relationships

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Several employees accused Steinbrink, Jr of having inappropriate relationships with at least two of his secretaries.

Suspicious Degree

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One whistleblower told police that Steinbrink Jr had a fraudulently-obtained engineering degree. He said that one public works employee took the practical test for Steinbrink, Jr, and another employee signed off on apprenticeship hours that Steinbrink, Jr didn’t actually complete. Two other employees also told police they heard about this.

All employees interviewed by police had significant knowledge of Steinbrink Jr’s alleged corruption. One whistleblower told KCE that while two village employees were helping Steinbrink, Jr install his in-the-ground pool on the village’s dime, Steinbrink, Sr visited his son on his golf cart and witnessed the village employees finishing concrete on duty, while village truck’s were hidden from the roadway. Whistle-blowers tell KCE that there is no chance that Steinbrink, Jr’s father, and Village President, John Steinbrink Sr didn’t know about this conduct.

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Steinbrink, Jr is due back in court on March 1, 2023 for a status hearing.

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26 Responses

  1. Nothing will happen.
    The man has his retirement and pension benefits to look forward to.
    The people running Pleasant Prairie have allowed grift for years—Likely the same for the all gov’t agencies in Kenosha County.

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    1. Edit from……”You Can’t Stop The Grift”

      change “have allowed grift” to “somehow were never aware of any alegded grift”

  2. Steinbrink Jr. has been going around telling individuals that his father will get him off scott free. Seems pretty cocky for someone facing 7 felonies. Can the state individually hold him accountable for lying and modifying the plow? Can the family of the deceased sue the Steinbrinks for attempting to cover up the accident?

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    1. Let’s see if Kenosha judges and District Attorney up hold the law or if they side with fellow Democrats and turn him into a martyr?

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  3. Great job, Kevin. The next downsizing move for the Kenosha news will probably be to a phone booth, when the one on Green Bay road becomes too big for the one employee they will have left.

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      1. Why would anyone drive a piece of heavy machinery in reverse for that distance? Much of that street is not more than one lane.

        smh

          1. The article said the man at the end of the road offered his driveway for the plow trucks to turn around because he knew it was too dangerous to have the trucks back up two block.

  4. Good! These guys need jail, The Steinbrink’s have benefited off the taxer payers personally for many years and so has their farm. I persnally know people that have worked under john jr and left due to his bully ways.

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  5. Kevin, great job on exposing these filthy, corrupt idiots in Kenosha County. They should all be held accountable as if I would be held if I received a speeding ticket. Jr. & Sr. think they are above the law because of the “friends” they have in government. Next up for you is the worthless director of personnel for Kenosha County whom was hired as a favor! Clara.

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  6. In Illinois if you are convicted of acts of official misconduct, you could lose your pension. Is that the same in Wisconsin?
    Is there a process to impeach or recall the village president? What would that process be?
    People of Pleasant Prairie you need to start that process now! Form a group, possibly work with Kenosha Party Republican group and puck a new leader for your village.
    Don’t sit on your hands, your once beautiful village is going to hell!

    1. It would have been nice to see someone run against Steinbrink but nobody did…now we are stuck with him AGAIN, unless people write in a name with more votes that day. Sad nobody ran against him

  7. Something to consider if your boss or a fellow employee is using a gov’t vehicle/equipment for personal use:

    “Under IRS general rules, all use of a company car is considered personal use unless the employee documents the business use of the car. Personal use of a company vehicle generally results in taxable wages for the employee.”

    Drop a dime on them to the IRS.

    1. i don’t think using villages pickup truck to pull your master craft boat out to the lake with a cooler full of beer is good weather you are allowed or not. just not a good choice ….

  8. john jr . you’re a joke you and your father and entire family you need to go to jail and pay restitution, back. sell your farm and move away, and just a tip take off the sunglasses and lose the arrogance! it’s only going to make it worse for you!!!!!

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  9. Dave Schaeffer was the plow truck driver who ran over Yvonne Wheeler. He has since retired. I wonder if anyone ever talked with him about the incident.

  10. On another Pleasant Prairie story from a few months ago…wasn’t there a story about the Postmaster being removed from the Post Office over on Springbrook/ML?

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