KENOSHA — A Kenosha County Board meeting ended early Tuesday night after a man was taken into custody during the public comment portion.
One of those resolutions would allow people with concealed carry licenses to bring their firearms into certain county properties. The other two involve allowing the county executive to hire and fire certain county employees, and banning private funding to help run elections. Dozens turned out to share their opinions Tuesday.
The man said he was there to speak out against two of the proposals. He then addressed some of the board members about accepting campaign donations from the Republican Party. That's when several supervisors say someone else got up to get in line to speak behind the man.
"I guess it's a good thing we weren't conceal carrying, I could have taken that as a threat," the man said.
"That was uncalled for," Kenosha County Board Chairman Gabe Nudo said.
They exchanged a few more words before the Chairman warned the man he would have to leave. That's when he called over the deputies. The man was taken into custody and the meeting was adjourned.
Kenosha County Board Chairman Gabe Nudo said in a statement that the person was warned several times to stop "causing disruption."
"As Kenosha County Sheriff’s deputies attempted to escort this person out of the room, he continued to create a disturbance and ultimately resisted arrest by the deputies," Nudo said.
Deputies booked the man on charges of disorderly conduct and obstructing and resisting an officer. TMJ4 News reached out to the man but were told he would not be making any statements at this time.
“I encourage people who were not present at the meeting to see the scene for themselves and watch the video of the meeting. While I strongly support the right of the public to voice their opinions in citizens’ comments at our meetings, decorum must be maintained, and disruptive behavior will not be tolerated," Nudo said.
Some supervisors offered their thoughts afterwards.
"One person being disruptive doesn't mean that we should stop the county's business, that we should silence all the folks that did come out to share their opinions last night," said Kenosha County Supervisor Brian Bashaw. "So, it was unfortunate."
"He should have been allowed to continue to speak, and because he was not allowed his First Amendment right to continue to speak, it turned into what that was," said Kenosha County Supervisor Andy Berg.
The leaders of the county's political parties addressed the man's comments about donations Wednesday.
"He was speaking about different things that he's allowed to during citizens' comments, we have no issue with that. And then he brought up candidate contributions from the Republican Party of Kenosha County, which I am the chair of, and acted like it was something wrong that the supervisors have taken donations from them, which it is not," said Kenosha County Supervisor Erin Decker. "And actually the Republican Party of Kenosha County is very proud that we gave over $30,000 in contributions to candidates in the spring elections."
"What we are seeing here is the politicization of what is meant to be a non-partisan entity, and there’s a price to pay for that," said Lori Hawkins, the chair of the Kenosha County Democratic Party.
A county spokesperson said Tuesday's agenda will likely be taken up at the meeting on July 5.