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Director of Women And Children’s Horizons Disbarred In Michigan For Serious Professional Misconduct

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Women and Children’s Horizons Director Jennifer Paine
(Website)

Women and Children’s Horizons is one of the oldest domestic violence and sexual assault services providers in Wisconsin. According to the IRS website, the tax-exempt organization has an annual budget of about $2,000,000 and the mission statements is “…To Provide support, shelter, education, training and healing services to victims of sexual and domestic abuse, their families, and the community.”

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Since being hired in July of 2022, Women and Children’s Executive Director Jennifer Paine found herself in hot water in her former state of residency – Michigan. According to Paine’s LinkedIn account, where she proudly displays her preferred pronouns of she/her, she became an attorney in Michigan in about 2009.

According to a 8-count findings document outlining an investigation into misconduct, Paine was disbarred May 20, 2023. The documents says in part, “After proceedings conducted pursuant to [Michigan Supreme Court Rules], the panel found, based on [Paine’s] admissions to all of the misconduct set forth in both formal complaints, that [Paine] committed professional misconduct during her representation of four different clients in their respective divorce and post-judgement divorce matters, while representing a client in adoption proceedings and in her own criminal matter…..”

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The State of Michigan Attorney Discipline Board, in the letter seems to question Paine’s integrity, mentioning her flawed honesty, trustworthiness, and fitness as a lawyer. The Board also used words like fraud and deceit. They pointed out what appears to be theft, as she reportedly withheld money from clients. The Board also called Paine incompetent.

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KCE reached out to the President Joseph Riesselmann, Jr a long time police administrator with KPD and Vice-President Attorney Nicole Rizzo and did not immediately hear back. KCE made contact with Paine who told us that she is currently appealing the disbarment and her board supports her, but that we should talk to the board for an official comment.

We will continue to reach out to the board to learn the rationale for the inaction.

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Jennifer Paine Holding Her Michigan Bar Card
(Facebook)

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83 Responses

  1. Pretty sure we have enough dishonest corrupt people right here in Kenosha that we can stop importing them from other states to head up quasi-governmental agencies.

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  2. And the past president is the ultra-woke, do-nothing, still-working-from -home HR director for the county. The one who dodges questions from the board, the one who was supposed to have answers about staff turnover but was never held accountable for her non-answers. The one who STILL isn’t addressing staff turnover issues— and there are ISSUES.

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    1. And you water down the severity of the situation by calling them issues. They are clearly PROBLEMS. A hangnail is an issue.

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      1. They’re back to having nursing home staff leaving, and few qualified applicants. If state shows up to survey, it wouldn’t go well at this point. Highways has one remaining qualified mechanic, and no applicants. Hope a truck doesn’t go down in a snowstorm, there’s no one to fix it. Highways also has over 10 guys, including 2 managers, who are actively looking to leave. They won’t be able to replace them before the snow starts falling, so hope people don’t want the interstate open this year. Yep, those are PROBLEMS, NOT issues.

        We could also talk about how only half of the budgeted lane miles will actually be paved this year, AGAIN, because money is just disappearing at the hands of the Highway commissioner. But, woke HR and do-nothing Kerkman won’t do anything about him because he’s that magical color.

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      2. My wife’s brother is on the paving team for Kenosha County Highways, and all we’ve heard about is how they finally have competent foreman and the upstairs managers and HR are driving them off, and how the last few years HR is hiring hot garbage to drive trucks, because hot garbage is all that’s applying, and it’s still a warm body in a truck. It’s a f*cking miracle no one has been unalived by these new guys driving snowplows, yet. He used to have an enviable job, decent pay, good benefits, pension. Now, it’s a joke and no one wants to work there.

    2. And then there’s the fact that not one single county board member has bothered to hold her accountable— not the “conservatives” nor the liberals. They passed the measure for Kerkman to fire at her “pleasure” but Kerkman is keeping these directors who are sinking their departments. And HR is sinking the services the taxpayers receive. Taxpayers ON BOTH SIDES should be furious.

    3. The organization should kiss their donors goodbye unless they step up their oversight! They have a fiduciary responsibility to ensure the financial stability and proper use of funds.

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  3. Didnt that company just have problems with fraud and mishandling of grants and contracts and payments from the city? Last president was fired and it looks like this one should be to.

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    1. If anyone took a look at what has taken place, the gaslighting is evident and abundant, the deceit, purposeful misdirection, non-responsiveness (silent treatment) and outright lying all are symptoms of a toxic narcissistic environment. Perhaps the board might pay closer attention – or care – enough to see they’ve become her “flying monkeys”.
      Maybe the board should be replaced with people who care about the facility a little more than just an opportunity to impress a politician with “…and we run the Womens’ and Childrens’ shelter here in Kenosha. We really care.” Uh huh.
      FOLLOW THE MONEY. I’ll bet there’s some missing.
      It fits the profile.

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      1. This is typical Jennifer Paine behavior. Not doing her job and using any stall tactics she can with the court system. She will blame the courts and hud for no funding to the needy. Yet all this is her fault because SHE didn’t do the proper paper work. That’s her 100 percent. Money is being wasted and or taken and it’s being overlooked. Shame.

  4. Wow…. I didn’t know a skinner version of Ursula existed. How can she even open her eyes with all that war paint on?

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    1. When will women learn that painting your eyebrows on NEVER LOOKS GOOD and guys just cringe in private when they see this…..honestly akin to guys spray painting their head to make it look like they have hair.

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  5. Looks like ¿her? Michigan Bar Card gets ¿her? all the free drinks ¿she? can put down. From the Bottom working ¿her? way Up, Jen.

  6. She is currently appealing her Disbarment. Really ? With the facts presented by the Michigan Bar and her omissions to the facts it seems that an appeal won’t do her any good. Further the fact of her negligence in summiting briefs and holding to the orders of the Michigan Bar she can kiss her law privileges’ away. With all that being said it does not keep her from applying to Wisconsin for a license. At which time she will most likely be granted one . She displays all of the qualities a good socalist needs ! She may even end up hanging with the gravley crowd.





    1. She wouldn’t get very far if she tried to apply for a Wisconsin license as the states observe reciprocity. Let’s say you’re a Wisconsin lawyer who is also licensed in Illinois, a fairly common situation. If you mess up in Illinois and get your license suspended there Wisconsin is going to honor that and pill your ticket, too.

    2. Her appeal was DENIED! Michigan is thankful she is gone. This board better wise up fast. Not one word that comes out of her mouth is the truth. Someone at that shelter better be keeping an eye on their $$$ funding.

  7. There have been plenty of lies during Jennifer’s time at WCH, just ask one of her employees….oh that’s right most are fired or suspended.

  8. This woman’s lies are incredible and the BOD just keeps turning a blind eye. Meanwhile, anyone who goes against her, the lies, and her coverups is terminated. I’ve witnessed this first hand. I’m not a disgruntled employee, nor am I a relative of one, but I have seen this all unfold first hand. She should be replaced and the entire Board should be replaced for being too lazy to investigate what is really going on.

  9. If she did it at one job sure she is doing some serious things wrong at another. She needs to be investigated and funds and donations accounted for

  10. Scott R.
    Northville, MI
    35213
    5/8/2023Updated review
    1 photo
    Jennifer Paine should had never been allowed to practice law and I am happy to see that she has lost her license. I complained to the disciplinary board years ago and they did nothing. It appears now after multiple complaints they have finally decided to act. Jennifer would tell me court was canceled when it was not. It resulted in arrest warrants being issued. But the main complaint is that her representation put me in a position where it looked like I was was the bad guy. This is serious when a child is involved and someone is as reckless as Jennifer is. I hope she never gets to practice law again. She was/ is a danger to anyone she represented.

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  11. This is interesting news and kudos for uncovering it.

    The fact that someone was disbarred or suspended from practicing law does not necessarily make them unqualified to act as director of WCH which is a private agency, not a county entity. Disbarred lawyers have worked as real estate agents, teachers and in other occupations. This information needs greater context in order to evaluate it. In other words, does this impact her ability to do her current job, and, if so, to what extent? For example, if she has a reputation for being untruthful and her present duties require her to testify in court, then that could be an issue as her credibility could be attacked. Or if she falsely concealed the information during the hiring process then that could be grounds for dismissal if she obtained the position by fraud. So the devil is in the details. We need more context.

    One of the posts above implies that she’s a rotten boss. That may be (or not) but it’s a separate issue.

    We should also be careful. It wasn’t that long ago that then District Attorney Zapf was accused of misconduct but a unanimous Wisconsin Supreme Court found the allegations meritless. (When was the Wisconsin Supreme Court is unanimous these days it’s like Hell froze over.)

    We need more information to put this into context. Doesn’t sound like the person I’d like as my lawyer but whether she’s fit to run WCH is another story.

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    1. You are a fucking dipshit.

      For one, Zapf was accused of misconduct, correct. This bitch was actually fucking DISBARRED…..which any attorney knows is REALLY FUCKING HARD TO ACCOMPLISH.

      Secondly, um yeah, I guess it doesn’t preclude her from being the head of a private place…..but what brain-dead dipshit organization would hire someone who was disbarred due in part to withholding money several times from her clients?

      God, some of you people on here are absolute dumbfuck twats.

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        1. Just happened to come across this. I’m a different person but I agree that you are a dipshit.

          I have had the displeasure of hiring her as an attorney and it was an absolute nightmare. I can personally vouch for over half of the specific points brought up in the disbarment happening. These are unethical, illegal actions taken by someone representing clients in a court of law… and you think just because this isn’t an attorney role, she’s clear? Complete clown.

    2. Well, I did some additional digging and found some additional information. In addition to not cooperating with the investigation of lawyer misconduct — a surefire way to get in trouble — she was accused of a lack of candor (another problem) and commingling client funds (not necessary misappropriating them but they are supposed to be placed in a separate trust account).

      On top of that, the Michigan Court of Appeals ordered her to pay costs and she didn’t (another problem):

      “On January 4, 2022, the Court of Appeals entered an order in In re Smith Minors, No. 359239, assessing costs in the amount of $250 against attorney Jennifer M. Paine (P72037). The costs have not been paid as ordered.

      Because the failure or refusal to pay the assessed costs having resulted in the issuance of this order to show cause, the Court orders Jennifer M. Paine pay to the Clerk of this Court additional costs in the sum of $100.”

      I wanted to ask what’s wrong with the W&CH board with not uncovering this but she was hired in August 2022 and it’s unclear if the disciplinary matters came to light before then. Earlier record was in the winter.

      1. More digging. The link didn’t post but on or about 2/1/22 the Michigan Court of Appeals dismissed a case that she failed to properly pursue and referred her to the discipline board, nothing several other similar problems. Tried to post the link but it didn’t work.

      2. Disgusting…. she failed to pay a lousy $250 while banking $20,000 of my bf’s money in a child custody case. A case she represented while suspended. Aquired a drunk driving, driving on a suspended driver’s license while representing clients, Also aquired a warrant for my bf for mishandling his case during her suspension. The warrant was the truth smacked in our faces on Christmas day 2022, when the warrant came in the mail. Her client from January 2020 until December 25, 2023.

    3. And it gets worse. Apparently she failed to do what needed to be done in more than one appeal and the Michigan Court of Appeals referred her on or about Feb. 1, 2022 to the disciplinary board:

      https://www.courts.michigan.gov/49f196/siteassets/case-documents/uploads/coa/public/orders/2022/359777_8_01.pdf

      If you read the order it looks like she has a problem. Generally speaking, when you see something like that it’s mental illness or substance abuse or both. We don’t know because she seems to have not answered anything.

  12. This She-devil clown needs to go back to the circus where she belongs!! Utterly disgusting of a human being to mishandle a good group of staff n suspend everyone including the Supervisor for no good reason other than she feels empowered and entitled just to stir up trouble. These poor workers work endlessly to make sure things are running smoothly and whoah comes the devil to destroy what is.

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  13. She needs to be replaced. The BOD needs to listen to what is being said and not ignore the truth of what is going on. Suspending people for speaking up for themselves is a petty and cowardly move. Hiding behind threats and letting that shelter being closed for the first time in its existence is unacceptable for someone in charge. Hope the grant committees don’t find out….

  14. Quote:
    After proceedings conducted pursuant to [Michigan Supreme Court Rules], the panel found, based on [Paine’s] admissions to all of the misconduct set forth in both formal complaints.

    I think her chances for appeal are pretty thin considering that she already confessed to all of the allegations under oath.

    1. An appeal can have two prongs. One is whether the burden of proof was met, as you noted.

      The other is whether the punishment is appropriate. She could argue facts in mitigation. I doubt she’d get very far given that she blew off so many chances to explain herself.

  15. As mentioned above, heard there were “issues” at the highway department.
    Maybe Kevin can ask around and see if there is “fire” behind the smoke.

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    1. No one will publicly talk. Don’t want to get Fenske’d.

      Besides, as mentioned above, the higher-uppers KNOW but don’t CARE. Kerkman knows. Doesn’t care.
      Director knows. Doesn’t care. Public Works Director fired Highway commissioner years ago when they both worked for the city.

      Everyone is aware of the problem. No one is going to do anything.

      Besides- remember last winter? County Board was willing to let the Highway department work through the winter but then they were going to get rid of them all. THIS VERY COUNTY BOARD used an entire department of real, live, actual humans as pawns in their game of political chess.

      Not one single person gives an actual f*ck about the fact that the Highway commissioner is an incompetent nitwit.

    2. I decided to find employment with a different municipality (for more money & better benefits, I’ll add) after I sat through an hour long meeting where Clement messed up our names, “thanked” us for doing projects that HE HIMSELF hired outside firms to complete, and concluded by telling us that he had enough engineers in the department that he could sit around with his feet up.

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  16. Am I only one who feels Womens and Childrens Horizons seems a little scammy? I am sure they do some good at some times for some people….but I also feel they are kind of just around to fuck with peoples’ (mostly mens’) lives, too. That is further evidenced by the shitty quality of people they hire….such as this lady.

    Like the shitty mothers who want to cry wolf on a father (because, hey, they know they can get away with that type of stuff in today’s society)….those are the types that Womens and Childrens Horizons seem to frequently represent.

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    1. Like many nonprofit agencies, I do believe that there are many flaws and contradictions but the goal is to help FAMILIES. I’m sure, just like anyone else, there has been some unsavory individuals utilizing services but that does not mean that they are not victims of abuse and it certainly does not mean they are any less deserving of help.

        1. Actually, she never followed up after the petition for review (appeal) and it was dismissed for failure to prosecute. This is a pattern for her. Not cooperating with an investigation is often a sign that something is wrong with the lawyer (mental health or substance issue) and is a sure sign that the license is going bye-bye because of failure to cooperate. Did she think these allegations were going to go away?

          1. She has a recent drunk driving in Livingston County MI. Also drove on a her suspended drivers license. Practiced law while going through this disciplinary review. Handled 2 cases claimimg they were dismissed causing her client a non appearance and a warrant. She denied that warrant was issued then blamed her client for falling for the opposing clients gaslighting. According to reviews and publications she moved out of state while still handling this case She left her client a huge mess, a mess that she created. Still in court cleaning up a 3 year diabolical case. Definitely filing malpractice against her.

  17. The complaint in the Michigan case has more detail than the order linked above. That puts this in context. She was accused of a lack of candor, not cooperating with the investigation and commingling client funds that are supposed to be in a separate account. It’s unclear if they were misappropriated. In any event, W&CH’s board should be asking some questions. Did they know about this?

  18. Now that we have more information, here’s what we know.

    1. Ms. Paine has problems. She failed to pursue several cases that she was hired to do. When she was called out on that she failed to respond and cooperate with the investigation. Nor was she candid. It was so bad that the Michigan Court of Appeals turned her in. These are not inconsistent with someone who has mental health and/or substance issues. That’s not inconsequential. Lawyers and other professionals are no different than anyone else. There are, however, assistance programs but they can’t do any good if lawyers don’t sign up and participate.

    2. There is a history of financial mismanagement. She was accused of commingling funds. This likely means that money that should have been set aside in a trust account was put into her general office account instead. Whether the money was misappropriated is unclear but my gut is that it wasn’t or she would be in even deeper trouble and would have been ordered to make restitution. Didn’t see that in any of the disciplinary orders nor was there a criminal prosecution. Still, it’s not good financial management which is an important requirement for the head honcho of a nonprofit.

    3. To borrow a Watergate phrase, “What did the board of directors know and when did they know it?” The initial disciplinary referral was made on or about February 1, 2022. She was hired in August. Her Michigan law license was suspended later in the year and the order revoking her law license came this summer. It’s possible that this was concealed from W&CH and that the hiring process was done at a time when routine investigation might not have uncovered this. Regardless, the information is out there now and the board of directors certainly has every reason to demand accountability and to determine if this is the person they want as the face of the organization.

    4. One other factor might be whether she could be qualified as an expert witness in court as have previous W&CH executive directors. Her credibility could be impeached if she has a reputation for a lack of candor. That could diminish her effectiveness in her present position.

    Bottom line: There’s quite a few people who have some explaining to do.

    1. The WCH Board has known about his for at least 4 months…and have done nothing. Maybe this article will force them to do something. But who will monitor them…they should all resign.

  19. Wow! Paine-ful face paint!
    Did Paine graduate from the Pelosi School of Clown Makeup?
    I remember trips to the Santa Cruz Beach and Boardwalk in California. Before it was destroyed by invaders and leftist lunatics!
    Sun, fun, surfing, rides and great food.
    We rode the beautiful carousel that has a clown off to one side.
    You would speed by a metal and brass ring dispenser. Standing up on your horse to grab a ring.
    Then as you came upon the clown, you’d toss a ring into the clowns open mouth.
    If your ring went through the mouth and hit the throat, the clown’s nose lit up and bells would ring.
    If you were lucky enough to get a rare brass ring, you got a free ride.
    Instead of the free ride I kept the brass rings as keepsakes.
    I might part with a few brass rings if this unsavory clown (Paine) made a replica of this photograph and had an opening to toss rings or bean bags through for charity!
    Look up old game shows.
    My friend watches them all the time.
    (Such a waste of time.) A lady named Joanne Whirly (I think, lol,) and an old gay ventriloquist act, “Whelan and Madame,) comes to mind.
    Paine could be the offspring of Whirly and the Madame doll.
    The old shows suck and are difficult to watch. Just pull up clips and meme til your heart’s desire:). IMO, allegedly:)

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    1. the women is vicious! she uses all lie’s . at her fundraiser she would use a single father with children in need of help. she would use his needy life story for help. to gain her her donations. then drops the father’s plea for help like he and his kids never existed. she’s vicious!

  20. If you read former clients’ comments about her work, they are all either 5 stars or 1 star. Bipolar, maybe? The photo says a lot.

      1. Absolutely…. used to post on fb for her friends and clients to leave good reviews because she is being attacked by the flying monkey’s of her ex.

  21. Rhianna Karls

    Understaffed, Advocates and upper management bends rules for certain clients, Advocates have personally threatened and threatened to fight me and kick me out because they had a friend who didn’t like me. There is no structure for clients OR clients with kids. It’s sad to know that what you see a parent do to a child that is considered “ok parenting” (cursing, hitting, keeping them awake til all hours because the parent wants to watch TV), how that parent is ACTUALLY going to treat their child(ren) when they leave the shelter. Most staff is either only here for the money, isn’t educated in the areas for the shelter or picks and chooses who they want to help. This place needs to wake up and do what is needed because their are ppl who need this place. The only way problems will be made aware is if someone speaks up to make them aware. I guess that person has to be me. But my word won’t be spread the way it needs to be. This message is not meant to all be negative, it’s meant for awareness!

  22. Joselito Cortes
    4 months ago
    Me an my children have been getting help from women an children horizon for years until miss jennifer payne used us at a fundraiser to get government contributions an then she told me they can no longer help me an my kids which I have full soul legal custody of. She lied to our face saying she was going to help us at a fund raiser an use me an the children’s story to get us help an did not do anything. She used us for government funding an then kicked us to the curb. Only certain people in this agency can be trusted.

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    1. do not trust a word this woman says. First hand I know the damage she has done with our adoption case! She cannot be trusted and she is a strait up liar!! I have documents to prove it!

  23. It’s a lot worse than people think . That’s just the clients who were able to make complaints . She also harassed victims who had PPo’s . Demanding they tell her where they were at and their lives would be a lot easier if they just comply with her . She would call their family members or send out emails to demand the families tell the locations of victims . She also threatens to have victims of DV arrested and put in jail on baseless and false accusations . Even after a judge here had to hide a victim in his chambers when her client tried to run the victim over in court house parking lot . She would laugh and just show how much of a snake she is . She should be put in jail not just suspended .

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  24. I agree they need to look into this matter but also look into drug usage and drug testing for employees of shelter. I think they would find many of former employees wouldn’t pass them

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