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Kenosha County Eye Settles Public Records Lawsuit With City of Kenosha

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Kevin Mathewson, Editor, Kenosha County Eye

On April 10, 2023, KCE made a public records request to the Kenosha Police Department. On April 19, 2023, our request was denied by the Department’s Public Information Office. That same day, we filed suit in Kenosha County Circuit Court, because we believed the denial was not lawful.

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I immediately made contact with the City’s Attorney, Matt Knight. Knight accepted service on behalf of the City, which saved about $210. In the coming weeks, Knight and Kenosha Police Chief Patrick Patton reviewed the court documents and determined that the denial was not proper and that KCE was entitled to the documents. While the Police Chief was unaware of our request or denial, he said that he takes responsibility for the error as the law enforcement agency’s leader. Patton said he wants the Kenosha Police Department to be as transparent as allowed by law, but wants to make sure victims are protected. He has made good on his promise. Earlier this year, Patton, along with Sheriff Zoerner, agreed to a sweeping change to how it shares its raw law enforcement data with the local media outlets. The data is shared daily with the local media.

The very same day that Judge Bruce Schroeder signed an order approving our agreement with the City, KCE was provided with the documents by the Kenosha Police Department. The agreement also called for the City to pay KCE’s legal expenses of $184.50. Although KCE was also entitled to $100 in damages, we agreed to only accept $1 for a few reasons. First off, this denial was not made with malice, like we’ve seen many times before. The KPD public information office handles many requests and the public records laws and precedents are ambiguous. KCE has had very few issues in the last 11 years with KPD. Also, the City Attorney and Police Chief released the records immediately. They could have fought with us in court for months like Salem Lakes or Kenosha County. They could have let their egos get the better of them. They didn’t. The City taxpayers paid me $184.50 plus $1. In the case of Kenosha County, their legal bill, that the taxpayers will foot, is likely approaching $10,000. All to hide the voice of a former politician, Ted Kmiec.

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Thank you to the City of Kenosha Police Chief and City Attorney Matt Knight for wrapping this up quickly. I wish others would learn from you.

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17 Responses

  1. So it seems Dave Zoerner is following in Dave Beth’s footsteps? Correct me if I’m wrong.

    How is the investigation coming along on how the city was allowed to burn? Zoerner, Nudo?

    The city burning photo on a post card was a great idea to gain public support in separating Dave Zoerner from Dave Beth/ Ray Rowe fag fest.

    Fast forward a year and now we have Ted Kmiec caught with matches in his hand (metaphorically) and he is being protected by the same guy that would have protected the city from burning supposedly.

    This not a good look Mr. Zoerner, Ms. Kerkman, Mr. Nudo. Real leaders do what is right even if it’s not easy and truth will stand on its own. None of you protecting Kmiec and the scum he’s tied to are any better than Bob Wirch when he ran to Illinois to avoid a vote or a piss drunk Dave Beth backing his loader into a girls car at country thunder and then issuing her a citation.

    Where are your oaths? You (3) ought to be ashamed of yourselves. You (3) ran on cleaning up Kenosha and it’s looking like talk is pretty cheap and you are part of the problem rather than the solution.

    Am I missing something that gives good reason to protect this known dirt bag?

    1. Don’t forget Decker. She’s pulling more strings than anyone realizes.

      And, they’re all in bed with Vos, so even though he’s not in a Kenosha district, he’s got to go, and it’s going to be a statewide effort.

    2. Keep a close eye on what Nedweski does. She and Kerkman seem to be fused together, so she’s probably going to become good for nothing, QUICK. If she does, get rid of her before she becomes a perpetual incumbent.

      1. She’s new at this. I hope she stands up for what is right and wrong as strongly as she did about fighting against the mask mandate for schools!

        1. True, she did do that and she is close with Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty that called Kenoshas very own Rachel Levine (Jen Freheit) for trying to shut county schools down. (Talk about putting lipstick on a pig!)

          1. And now she’s in the assembly, which means she’s more likely to fall under Vos’ influence, which will only be bad.

          2. Maybe with her being “close” with Law and Liberty will help her stay in “Check” and she will have some back-up when needed.

  2. Under Davey beth, I couldn’t even get a copy of a police report with my own name on it; was instructed to get an attorney, which was bs.

  3. You are a good example of what we should all be doing when things are happening the right way with our officials. Thank you!

  4. Nice work.
    Kevin,Would love to see your investigative talents holding the politicians in Madison accountable it’s scary, as no one seems to be watching.

  5. Kevin
    Thank you for sharing when Government al agency do sometime right. It was a refreshing story. Also thank you for being a stand up person and taking only a dollar also refreshing.

  6. I don’t know Kevin…. me thinks you were sweating this one a bit – hence the kinds words…. a day is going to come when you lose one these and you end up paying attorney fees….

    1. Nah. You think the City attorney gave me the records and paid my legal fees on a whim? I am now 18 for 18. I agree with you, I have to lose one day. But for a pro se non-attorney like me who only has a high School degree, it would be a very high bar for a judge to order me to pay for a government’s attorney’s fees. Sounds like you might not know how the court system works.

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