Layout 1

Kenosha County Eye

Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.

Salem Lakes Village President Calls Special Board Meeting Monday To Discuss Settlement With KCE Records Lawsuit

Share
Tweet
Salem Lakes Village President Diane Tesar
(Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

Salem Lakes Village President Diane Tesar called a special meeting for Monday, March 27, 2023 to discuss a possible settlement with KCE. They will meet in secret and behind closed doors. KCE has learned that the Fire Chief, James Lejcar is universally disliked by his firefighters, paramedics and EMT’s. KCE was told that the department is losing staff rapidly and they are short on firefighters. We made a public records request for recent letters of resignation. It was denied by Village attorney Richard Scholze. It is our theory that Scholze knew that the number of resignations would make Salem Lakes voters lose confidence in the the four elected board members who are likely to be voted out on April 4. Of course, we sued.

Paid Advertisement
Salem Lakes Village Administrator Mike Murdock
(Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

We got the chance to depose Village President Diann Tesar, Village Administrator Mike Murdock, and Former Village Clerk Shannon Hahn. We learned a lot on Wednesday. Village Administrator Mike Murdock ,who makes more than $140,000 annually, told us that he was a Battalion Chief for the department (second in charge) until just a couple of months ago. He resigned at about the same time that KCE started sniffing around the village.

Clerk Shannon Hahn, who had previously given KCE a letter of resignation for an employee of the Village testified that she was working on giving us the letters from the fire department, until Village attorney Rich Scholze told her not to. He then used her email account to tell us the request was denied.

Paid Advertisement
Salem Lakes Fire Chief James Lejcar
(Photos by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

Tesar, under oath, told us that she had never received a complaint about the Fire Chief’s performance – that is, until we confronted her with evidence. She then changed her sworn testimony. She seemed defeated. “I acted too late. I acted too late,” she said. When asked about how many firefighters left recently, she told us about 20. This is a number consistent with what our sources have told us.

Salem Lakes Village Attorney Richard Scholze
(Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

Richard Scholze, who is a municipal judge in the town of Burlington, dealing with non-serious matters, like parking tickets, cited Wis. Stat. 19.36(10) as the reason why he ordered the Village not to turn over these records. Anyone with a slight knowledge of the public records law, knows that this is an outrageous defense and it will never hold up in court.

Paid Advertisement

Immediately after we filed the lawsuit, we offered to settle the case. Apparently, Scholze never brought our settlement offer to the board who never called a special board meeting. Under State law, if the Village declines an offer of settlement, and we win even $1 more than our offer, we will be awarded double fees. Right now our fees are at $644.50 ($184.50 filing fee, $210 service of process, and $250 deposition fee for court reporter.) If we win, we will also be rewarded statutory damages of $100. Our offer was for $1 less than what we will win in court. If the Village, tomorrow, denies our settlement offer, we will be awarded double fees and collect $1,489 from the Village of Salem Lakes taxpayers and get the records. As promised, we will donate the difference between our costs, and what we win back to the Salem Lakes community.

Tomorrow, the board is expected to dig in its heals and deny our offer settlement, most likely based on Scholtze’s bad legal advice. KCE also asked for punitive damages because we believe Scholze knows better or should know better.

Paid Advertisement
Salem Lakes Fire Chief James Lejcar and Fire Inspector Steve Ptaszynski
(Photos by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

Also tomorrow, is a special Fire Commission meeting to take up a complaint against the Fire Chief and Fire Inspector. The duo has allegedly been unlawfully tough on business and trying to shut many of them down. The complaint was made by Trustee Ron Gandt, who the business owners tout as being their “only ally.”

Author

Share
Tweet
LATEST NEWS

Drug-Using Foster Mom, Professional Counselor, Arrested For Allegedly Carrying A Firearm While Drunk

A Kenosha foster mom was taken into custody by the Kenosha Police Department early Tuesday morning according to the Kenosha Sheriff’s Department inmate search. Police recommended to the Kenosha County District Attorney’s Office that Jacqueline Covelli-Niccolai, 37, of Kenosha, be charged with “Going Armed With Firearm While Intoxicated,” a misdemeanor. Reports show that someone called police at 2:24 am to ask them to check on the welfare of Niccolai at her far-south side home. When police

Read More »

One Cited After Courthouse Disturbance Involving Deceased 5-Year-Old

The family of a deceased little girl named Zha’riyah Robinson tell KCE the mother of the man on trial for raping her, Lindsay Schroeder, smiled at them as she left the courtroom today, starting a disturbance at about 9:40 am. Dozens of police officers and Sheriff’s Deputies poured onto 56th st in front of the courthouse. KCE spoke to two of Zha’riyah’s aunts, her mother, her grandmother and her grandfather. They were very upset leaving today’s

Read More »
MORE TOP STORIES

16-Year-Old Shot To Death Monday Night, 18-Year-Old In Custody For Negligent Homicide

At 8:30 a.m., two Kenosha Police Officers stood guard over the crime scene in the 4800 block of 36th Ave. According to reports, a 16-year-old child visiting from out of town lost his life last night in this home. Just after 8:00 p.m., police and rescue personal were called out to the residence for a male with a gunshot wound. According to reports, life-saving measures were unsuccessful. Detectives and the medical examiner were called to the

Read More »

Kenosha Police Cold Case Vault: The Murder Of Hozia Jackson

Hozia D. Jackson lived near Chicago, IL. He was last seen at a house party on February 25, 2012. He wasn’t seen alive again. On March 2, 2012, his family reported him missing to the Chicago Police Department. The Chicago police had suspended their missing person investigation on April 2, 2013. On April 5, 2016 at about 10:20 a.m., a surveyor in the area just off the frontage road near highway 158, found the remains of

Read More »

Pritzker Military Museum and Library Ribbon Cutting – In Photos

The Pritzker Military Museum and Library celebrated its opening with a ceremonial ribbon-cutting today, May 25, 2024 at 11:00 a.m., just two days before this years’ Memorial Day. The museum was founded by billionaire philanthropist and retired Lieutenant Colonel Pritzker of the Pritzker family. The new building, built in Somers over the last few years is the new location for the museum, which was relocated from Chicago, IL, where Col. Pritzker’s brother is the Governor. About

Read More »

Now Hiring – Village Of Salem Lakes

The Village of Salem Lakes is under new leadership and the Village Board recently increased the pay for several positions. The benefits packages are among the best in the region. The Village is seeking: Village Clerk – Earns between $65,000 and $90,000 depending on qualifications. Click here to read the requirements, duties, and how to apply. Assistant to the Village Administrator – Earns between $60,000 and $90,000 depending on qualifications. Click here to read the requirements,

Read More »

Kenosha County Is A Leader In The State For Sending People To Prison – Why?

Wisconsin has sent 3,152 people to prison From April 1, 2023 to March 31, 2024. For the sake of this discussion, we are talking about “new sentences” only – not any other reason, such as probation and extended supervision revocations. KCE often refers to the Kenosha County DA’s office as “soft on crime.” That doesn’t sit well with Kenosha’s District Attorney, Michael Graveley (D). He believes KCE is cherry-picking data and challenged KCE to use objective

Read More »

16-Year-Old High School Student Pleads Not Guilty To Two Police Chases – Facing Almost 40 Years In Prison

A 16-year-old student at Indian Trail High School and Academy has been charged with four very serious felonies for two separate car chases that allegedly occurred on April 27, 2024. Sunny A. Patel was briefly charged as a juvenile, but quickly was waived into adult court. Patel was charged with two count of Attempting to Flee or Elude an Officer and two counts of First Degree Recklessly Endangering Safety. The former comes with a maximum prison

Read More »

Samantha Kerkman Delivers 2024 State of the County Address, Unveils New Logo For Kenosha County

Kenosha County Executive Samantha Kerkman presented her annual State of the County address to the County Board this evening, highlighting recent successes while unveiling a new county logo. “The State of Kenosha County is strong — and it’s looking better all the time,” Kerkman said, referencing a rebranding process more than a year in the making. The new logo, Kenosha County’s first since 1982, moves the county’s brand into the 21st century, Kerkman said. “The new

Read More »

Silver Lake Man Arrested, Charged For “Stalking” Women On Silver Lake Walking Trail

A multiple felon named Dale H. Lassiter of Silver Lake, was arrested Sunday, May 19, 2024 by the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department. The 28-year-old’s arrest occurred after a pair of allegedly sexually-related attacks on two separate women – Saturday and Sunday. Lassiter is behind bars, holding on two separate $1,000 cash bails. He needs to post $2,000 to be released pending trial. He was charged with fourth degree sexual assault, lewd and lascivious behavior, and two

Read More »

Salem Lakes Board Appoints Pete Poli To Vacant Trustee Position – Sworn In Tonight

The Salem Lakes Village Board appointed 51-year-old business owner Pete Poli to sit alongside them on the board. The vacancy was created by Kathryn “Kelly” Sweating as she resigned for health reasons. The board voted 5 to 1 to appoint Poli to the board. Poli was challenged by resident Doug Randolph. Both men were given the opportunity to answer several questions in writing before tonight’s meeting. They also gave opening statements and were asked questions by

Read More »

Fired KUSD Teacher Groomed Student “For Sex”: Civil Lawsuit Filed Today

A fired teacher at KTEC West named Christian Enwright groomed a 13, and later 14-year-old student, from June of 2023 until he was caught in February of 2024. He did this for the purpose of having sex with the child at some point. This is according to a civil suit filed today in the Kenosha County Circuit Court. Named in the suit is Enwright and his insurance company (if he has one.) According to the 38-page

Read More »
Categories
Archives
Authors

13 Responses

  1. If there was no KenoshaCountyEye there would be no one pulling back the curtain on the sneaky cheating ‘public servants’.
    The more some of these petty dictators scream the more it seems they are hiding thing.
    Thank you Kevin Mathewson!

    13
    1
  2. The attorney used the clerk’s email? No, nothing shady going on here. Thank you Kevin, keep getting the truth out there.

    8
    1
  3. Just looking at these two parasites, make me not even want to trust them as they look shady and so unprofessional slouching down in their chairs during a meeting.

    How do they think by shutting down all the businesses, is going to help the Village? Are they that ignorant to realize that these business are adding revenue to the very town that pays their salaries? You can’t fix stupid!!!

    2
    1
  4. I don’t know Public Records laws and obviously you know A LOT, but could you explain what the section 19.36(10) means? I read it but really don’t understand the true meaning behind it.
    I’d like to get some public records from Pleasant Prairie and have been told I can’t because of some law he quoted( dont remember the one off hand), so I didn’t try, but maybe I should have and then sued them if they didn’t give them to me. You need to do a class on all this stuff so we can learn how you hold these officials accountable and how we can all do the same! Thanks for all you do!

    6
    1
    1. Wisconsin Statute 19.36(10) is a law in the state of Wisconsin that deals with public records. Specifically, it says that certain personal information about an individual can be kept confidential in public records if it would be likely to have a substantial adverse effect on that person’s safety or well-being.

      So, for example, if someone requested to see public records that contained your home address or phone number, this law would allow that information to be kept confidential if there was a good reason to believe that disclosing that information could put you in danger or harm your well-being.

      Overall, the law is meant to balance the public’s right to access information with an individual’s right to privacy and safety.

  5. I happened to be at the village hall tonight for sweating in off 6 new firefighters.

    We caught the tail end of the regular board meeting, just sheet they came out of executive session.

    They proceeded to vote on “Kevin Mathewson’s ‘personal injury’ ” claim. Weird huh?

    The motion was made by someone on there phone. Just wondering, do the village’s resolutions allow for electronic attendance? Prior to Covid, I’m aware of several boards that changed their rules to allow for it. After Covid, I imagine it’s SOP, but just wondering

    1. Trustee Campion has appeared via zoom at all but one meeting I have attended. That’s who was on the phone. Personally I think trustees should be present for meetings except in rare instances. This every meeting via zoom should not have been allowed imo. It’s a moot point now as Campion is not going to be reelected, thank goodness.

    2. Trustee Campion has appeared via zoom at all but one meeting I have attended. That’s who was on the phone. Personally I think trustees should be present for meetings except in rare instances. This every meeting via zoom should not have been allowed imo. It’s a moot point now as Campion is not going to be reelected, thank goodness.

  6. Wait a minute. I agree that public records are public records and shouldn’t be withheld except under very limited situations allowed by law. With that out of the way, I’ll play devil’s advocate about the implication that the fire department is “too hard” on business.

    Maybe they are. Maybe they should be. Maybe they shouldn’t. But I sure as Hell don’t want to see corruption by allowing code violations to be swept under the rug endangering public safety. It’s happened far too often and is a common form of local corruption.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

LATEST NEWS
Categories
Archives
Authors

Subscribe to updates

Get notified of new articles. We'll never share your email address.