February 22, 2011

Racine mayor sued for slander

A city employee fired late last year sued Racine Mayor John Dickert this week for slander over comments the mayor made on WRJN radio.

Bill Bielefeldt, who was fired from the city's Department of Development in November, filed suit in Racine County Circuit Court on Monday. Dickert allegedly said on the radio that Bielefeldt was "embezzling" from the city. To date, no allegations of embezzlement, which is a form of financial fraud that's essentially stealing, have been made against Bielefeldt.

An insider with knowledge of the situation said the mayor overstepped in alleging criminal action by Bielefeldt. They also said the suit was purposefully filed against Dickert, and not the city, so the mayor would have to hire his own attorney to defend himself. Dickert will not be able to use the city attorney's office in the case, they said.

It's hard to say what, if any, impact the case will have on Dickert's re-election bid. Voters could see it as a messy situation involving a disgruntled employee and give the mayor a pass. But they may also wonder why Dickert was even talking about Bielefeldt in a public forum, much less making allegations no one, at least publicly, has stated.

No court dates have been set in the case, which is being handled by Judge Charles Constantine's court. Bielefeldt is being represented by Thomas Santarelli, a Kenosha attorney who is known as a bulldog in the court room.

Beth over at Racine Uncovered was the first to jump on this story. The JT is also paying attention.


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  1. Can Dickert just not control his mouth? This is beyond stupid.

  2. This was DUMB on Dickert's part. He should apologize.

  3. I give credit to RacineUncovered for following this story because it is a story. But I won't read that blog anymore because the commenters are pack of hyenas who revel in trashing people and weirdly the author encourages it.

  4. Anon 10:42, have you ever paid attention to the left wing commenters at the Racine Post?

  5. Yes, but Pete and Dustin don't egg them on.

  6. What an idiot, 10:42 you sound like Dickert.

  7. The best pat is this won't hurt the taxpayers Johnny Boy will have to pay his own attorney fees.

  8. I can't believe I'm defending him. I'm no Dickert fan at all, but I got to say that sometimes a persons mouth runs off at the wrong times and with the wrong words. Trust me, I know. I have been way misunderstood and had the Blogs attack me. Sure this was dumb but so is speaking in front of a mic that that you think is off. Remember Jesse Jackson's comments ( I'd like to cut his &@))$ off) and Joe Biden's ( This is a big $%^&*# deal.

  9. When you represent a city you've got to be smarter then this. This is just a pre-cursor to more lawsuits coming our way. Thankfully this is a personal lawsuit and not against the city. Do we really want a moron like this running the city? C'mon Racine we've got to do better!

  10. This is a personal attack on Bill by the Mayor. Bill turned down their offers of settlement and this is how they respond, to attack Bills reputation. I would be mad as hell if this were me and I would be fighting them as hard as I could. Bill should keep fighting back against these underhanded tactics that the City uses. Myself and other contractors have had to put up with the city's underhanded tactis and we intend to fight back also. Dickert and his cronies need to go. Check on Racineuncovered and follow the citys underhanded dealings with their grant system. This story is just now breaking.

  11. New complaint filed over lead violations in Racine NSP

    Check this out on Racineuncovered, the comments made by “Insiderclerk” show how bad things really are at city hall and the Department of Development. This is why they got rid of Bill Bielefeldt because he would not play their games. He had to go, and they accused him of exactly the things that they are doing. However they have no proof and continue to accuse and slander Bill to promote their underhanded dealings. Bill would never have stood for this type of dealings with contractors and homeowners.
    The city has been caught cutting costs by not following lead paint regulations and now they are still doing the same thing. The state Health Department cannot continue to let them off the hook and continue to put our children at risk.

  12. The city will be held accountable-for sake of all children
    Posted on March 1st, 2011 by racineuncovered
    9:09 p.m. – I just returned from the Common Council meeting. It was a packed house tonight and myself and 2 others spoke about the Neighborhood Stabilization Program. I spoke about the interview with Candidate Dickert stating that there was only 1 violation, a contractor didn’t put a tarp down. (oops no multiple violations by multiple contractors at different locations). I spoke about the math problems again with City Hall when it was mentioned on that same interview that 300+ contractors were put to work (there’s wasn’t 300+ contractors put to work because of this program). I spoke about making the city and the homes safe again for children.

    In October 2010 it was discovered that there were lead safe violations with the contractors working on mutiple homes through the NSP, again last week (2/24/11) it was photographed and reported to DHS that some of the very same contractors are still violating State and Federal laws. I want accountability. The same leaders, managers and supervisors that were running the program in 2010 are still running it as of today. A city employee lost his job because he notified the State of Wisconsin DHS last year about the NSP violations. He was fired for gross negligence. In my opinion as the old saying goes “What’s good for the gander is good for the goose”, then those currently in charge should be terminated for gross negligence also.

    There will be follow up, there will be responsibility and the appropriate people will be held accountable for this program and the actions under it. There will be no more verbal warnings or “hand slaps” I am prepared to take this all the way to Attorney General Van Hollen to make sure that this program is corrected and that the children of Racine are not subject to this. If the people that are in charge of this program cannot handle the rules established to make our homes safer, than in my opinion they do not need to be working for the city any longer.

    We need responsible people working in government that will ensure the safety of the children and residents of this city!

    p.s. To all the elected officials I spoke to tonight….to the ones that listened and paid attention (there were quite a few of you and I took note of who you were)…. thank you very much, you have my respect.

    To the others…the ones that couldn’t look me in the eye, that kept their head down the majority of the time I spoke…. my opinion.. You aren’t a leader, if you cannot look a woman in the eyes when they speak and you will never have my respect.

    9:22 a.m. – It has been confirmed that the Department of Health Services has been to Racine and there is an open investigation. They cannot comment at this time because it’s ongoing

  13. Dickert now has the city and taxpayers paying for his defense. How can he get away with this??