A Salem Lakes Trustee has filed suit against Kenosha County Eye just a little over a month after his crushing primary election, in which he took 6th place out of 7 candidates. Only the top three vote-getters will be on the Village Board. The three challengers scored a resounding victory and Culat is likely to lose his seat on April 4, 2023.
Culat isn’t blaming himself or his campaign for the rejection by his constituents. Instead, he is blaming Kenosha County Eye, and reporting, that he says is false. The defamation suit was filed last Wednesday. In the suit, Culat says he lives in Illinois and Wisconsin. In the suit Culat mentions only one specific allegation that KCE made in a February 7, 2023 article we published. We said in part:
“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.”
In Culat’s lawsuit he says “Mr. Mathewson issued such statements for the purpose of causing harm to
Mr. Culat……….. seeking to harm Mr. Culat.”
Culat says that this statement is false. Culat further states that “Among other things, Mr. Culat has suffered reputational damage in the community, damage to his bid for reelection as Village Trustee, and damage to his professional work as a real estate agent.”
Culat is asking a Kenosha County Circuit Court Judge to shut down Kenosha County Eye in a request for a temporary injunction. This will never happen. Here is why. Kenosha County Eye has on some occasions, exercised restraint with the information we publish. In this instance we said “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.”
KCE could have elaborated on this issue, but chose not to. He has family in this community and the truth of what was alleged to have happened when he was a cop was much, much worse. We now choose to publish the full truth about Mr. Culat’s short career as a law enforcement officer.
According to an article posted by the Chicago Tribune on April 16, 1991 and another published by the Tribune on July 7, 1993, and a court order dismissing Culat’s lawsuit, Culat not only left the department under suspicious circumstances, he was fired for misconduct. The Chief of Police at the time recommended he be fired and the police and fire commission upheld that decision on April 4, 1991.
The Chief of Police at the time asked the State Police to install a hidden camera in the police department. Culat was caught on camera, hugging, kissing, and fondling a pregnant dispatcher. KCE is not releasing this woman’s name. The dispatcher was also fired and sued the department. Culat was also found to have gone through the Chief’s mail. Culat was also found to have withheld information about a secret liquor store sting.
Another suspicious incident shortly before Culat’s termination was reported by the Tribune. Many firearms ended up missing from the evidence room and an investigation was conducted. Culat was in charge of the evidence room.
Culat only had $51 in his pocket and $19 in the bank when he filed bankruptcy in 2010 according to bankruptcy documents obtained by KCE.
Here is a statement by my attorney:
“I represent Kevin Mathewson in defense of the above referenced litigation that was filed by one of the Village of Salem Lakes Trustees, Michael Culat, who is facing significant opposition from thousands of residents in the election that will take place on April 4th.
Instead of campaigning on his record, Mr. Culat has taken the unprecedented step of attempting to silence free speech and the free press by suing Mr. Mathewson (and others) and seeking a preliminary injunction to stop Mr. Mathewson from reporting on the candidates’ record less than 2 weeks before the election.
Mr. Mathewson is confident that Mr. Culat’s injunction will be denied and this lawsuit will be quickly dismissed as the case has no merit. One of the pillars of the United States Constitution is the protections it affords to free press.”
Attorney Eric Olson