Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley said in a letter dated December 5, 2023 that he will not be pursuing charges against the newly-retired Twin Lakes Fire Chief Stan Claus Jr or the fire department. Graveley also said that he won’t even pursue action to force the Fire Department to turn over the records that they lied about not having.
A secret meeting was held on Thursday, March 9, 2023, by the Twin Lakes Fire Department Board of Trustees to decide how to proceed with allegations of sexual harassment against Chief Clause. Kenosha County Eye was eager to attend this meeting, but no one would tell us where and when it was. It wasn’t posted at the library, and countless Village officials ignored our request for the details. We showed up at the Fire Department at 236 E. Main St around 5pm and we were denied access and told the meeting was “closed to the public.”
KCE has been been made aware of these allegations by at least two whistleblowers at the department. For the last year, we have been attempting to learn from Village President Howard Skinner and Village Administrator Laura Roesslein what the status was of these allegations. (Skinner usually wears Nascar hats to Village meetings.) We submitted public records requests and they were ignored. It wasn’t until this March that Administrator Roesslein admitted that there was an “internal employee investigation” being conducted and she couldn’t comment. Village President Howards Skinner has never responded to an email from Kenosha County Eye. In March we called Clause, emailed and texted him. He did not return any of the communications. We emailed the Twin Lakes Police department to see if there was any criminal investigation. Chief Adam Grosz told us that they have not received any criminal complaints but if they do, they will turn it over to an outside agency.
We emailed the Village Clerk, Sabrina Waswo, to learn the place and time of the March 9th meeting. She told us “The Village does not have any meetings tonight.” We checked with our whistleblower again to confirm and were told that the meeting was indeed tonight. We again reached out to Waswo and she then later came clean, saying “The Twin Lakes Fire Rescue is a separate entity from the Village. I don’t know their meeting schedule.” Rosselein then also finally admitted that there was a meeting tonight, but refused tell us the time or place.
Hannah Felipez, a firefighter with the Twin Lakes Fire Department, made at least one allegation of sexual harassment against Clause. KCE is told that Clause solicited Felipez to have a threesome with himself, his step-daughter, and Felipez. In KCE’s initial report, we didn’t name Felipez, but she later came forward to KCE to tell her story. She told us that the sexual harassment that the Chief committed against her is “nobody’s business” – we explained to her that misconduct of public officials are the public’s business. She disagreed with us, saying that she was made an offer by the Chief that lead her to drop her complaint. “I’m satisfied, why do you have to write about it?” she told KCE at Country Thunder.
On March 17, 2023, KCE made a public records request to the Fire Department for all sexual harassment complaints against Chief Clause. 28 minutes later we received a response from Clause indicating that there were no complaints. He lied. On March 20, 2023, KCE sent certified letters to each and every member of the Twin Lakes Fire Department Board demanding the sexual assault complaints against the Chief.
Buster Amore Glenn Tietz, Jr Glenn Tietz, Sr
Al Stolp Chip Walmsley Ron Redlin
None of the Trustees responded. We did make contact with Buster Amore, who initially lied and said he never got our letter, and later admitted that he received it but told KCE to “fuck off.” They all violated the Wisconsin Public Records Statute 19.31. In Wisconsin, if you’ve ever received a public records response, you have probably seen a disclaimer at the bottom its required by law and reads:
“The Twin Lakes Fire Department has fully responded to your public records request. However,
please be advised that in the event you consider the response to be a denial of your request, your
request is subject to review by mandamus under Wis. Stat. § 19.37(1), or upon application to the
attorney general or a district attorney. See Wis. Stat. § 19.35 (4)(b).”
This tells people how they can appeal illegal denials or other violations. As many know, KCE has won 17 victories in regards to legal disputes about public records.
To be blunt, we know an awful lot about the law, and haven’t lost. I’ve bear Michael Graveley in court TWICE when he illegally denied requests. I did these cases by myself, only bringing in lawyer towards the end so I knew I would get compensated. I did. The really hurt Mike Graveley’s ego. He lost two court cases to a college drop-out. He’s been a lawyer for decades. He is morally bankrupt and has no integrity. Notwithstanding, on June 8, 2023, we filed a complaint with Mike Graveley (D)’s office. You can read the complaint below.
On December 5, 2023, Graveley sent KCE a letter saying that his office spoke to the Fire Department who quickly lawyers up and hired a high-priced law firm called vonBriesen. vonBriesen didn’t deny the existence of the sexxual assault complaints and agued that it got some money from patients who get service from the ambulances, and this not all of their revenue is from the government. This is a nonsensical argument and Graveley admits as much. Every Fire Department in the State of Wisconsin charged patient when they get an ambulance ride to the hospital, but they are all still governmental authorities and this subject to public records requests. IOn Graveley’s letter, he indicated that he will not be pursuing the illegal denial or attempt to obtain the illegally withheld records saying “You have the same authority as the District Authority’s office under section 19.37 of the Wisconsin Statutes to ask a court to compel the release of the records you are requesting.” Graveley know this is a lie. KCE cannot charge the Village with a crime, like Graveley’s office can. Becuase of a recent Supreme Court ruling, I can’t get attorneys fees if I win, so me going to court isn’t worth it at this time.
So with Clause now retired, and the complaints likely destroyed, the Village taxpayers will never know just what Clause was alleged to have done to at least one woman. Stanley is also employed in Twin Lakes as the Public Works Director.June 8, 2023 District Attorney Complaint