BREAKING: Jonathan Steitz renting to a non-compliant registered sex offender? (UPDATED)

Jonathan Steitz

UPDATE: It appears that Karl Lindquist may be in violation of the City of Kenosha’s sex offender ordinance, which was enacted on July 18, 2008, by living at 3902 Sheridan Road. Here’s the pertinent section from Chapter 11 of the City of Kenosha’s ordinances:

C. Sexual Offender And Sexual Predator Residence; Prohibitions and Exceptions.
1. Prohibited Location of Residence. is not required to register under Sections 301.45
a. It is unlawful for any Designated Offender not placed pursuant to Department of Corrections (DOC) guidelines (whereby Designated Offenders are returned to their home community) to establish a Permanent Residence or Temporary Residence within two thousand five hundred (2,500’) feet of a Prohibited Location.

D. Property Owners Prohibited From Renting Real Property To Certain Sexual Sexual Predators.
It shall be unlawful for any property owner to lease or rent any place, structure, mobile home, trailer or any part thereof, with the knowledge that it will be used as a Permanent Residence or Temporary Residence by any person prohibited from establishing a Permanent Residence or Temporary Residence therein pursuant to this Ordinance, if such place, structure, or mobile home, trailer or any part thereof, is located within a Prohibited Location zone as defined in Section 11.033 B.

According to Sec. 6 of the Kenosha sex offender ordinance, a “Prohibited Location” is defined as “any school property, licensed daycare center, park, trail, playground, place of worship, or any other place
designated by the City as a place where children are known to congregate.”

According to my calculations, the residence located at 3902 Sheridan Road in Kenosha is just a shade over 1,000 feet from Washington Middle School, putting it right in the middle of a prohibited location zone, as defined by Kenosha’s ordinance.

Jonathan SteitzDuring an appearance on Wisconsin Public Radio, Republican State Senate candidate Jonathan Steitz (pictured, left) discussed how as his family grew, they outgrew their house, but the market was too bad to sell the house. Steitz mentioned that he had to rent out his old house and began renting a bigger place in Pleasant Prairie.

The house Jonathan Steitz and his family outgrew is located at 3902 Sheridan Road in Kenosha, at least according to the City of Kenosha Assesor’s property database search, which lists the property at 3902 Sheridan Road in Kenosha as being owned by Jonathan R. and Kelli A. Steitz of Pleasant Prairie.

Now here’s where Jonathan Steitz’s story gets really interesting.

The property owned by Jonathan Steitz and his wife at 3902 Sheridan Road in Kenosha is currently occupied by Karl Lindquist.

Who’s Karl Lindquist? Well, according to the State of Minnesota sex offender registry, he’s a registered sex offender, and according to the Wisconsin Circuit Court Access system, Lindquist listed the address at 3902 Sheridan Road in Kenosha as his residence for his pending criminal case, having been charged with Sex Offender-Fail/Update Information.

According to the Minnesota Predatory Offender Registration program (see image below), Karl Lindquist is listed as living on Sheridan Road in Kenosha, and he’s also listed as being non-compliant with the State of Minnesota’s Predatory Offender Registration program.

Karl Lindquist
(Click for full size)

In addition to him being a registered sex offender, Karl Lindquist has multiple convictions for Operating While Intoxicated here in Wisconsin, as well as having unpaid debts both here and in Minnesota that have resulted in court action against him. Oh and did I mention Lindquist was also convicted of Disorderly Conduct – Domestic Abuse in Marathon County in 2008?

The question I can’t help but ask is why Jonathan Steitz was willing to rent to someone with outstanding debts, a criminal history, and who is not only a registered sex offender, but who is also a NONCOMPLIANT registered sex offender? Was Jonathan Steitz too lazy to do a basic background check on his tenant, or worse, did he just not care about his tenant’s long history in court?

I’d love to hear Jonathan Steitz explain what went through his mind when he chose to rent his house to a noncompliant registered sex offender.


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44 thoughts on “BREAKING: Jonathan Steitz renting to a non-compliant registered sex offender? (UPDATED)

    1. I’m not really sure what was going through Steitz’s head, but the reality here is that there’s really no good way to spin this.

      If Steitz says he didn’t know about his tenant’s history, then what does that say about his diligence as a landlord?

      However, if he says he did know, then what does that say about his judgment?

  1. Sorry to blow a hole in your story Zach, but Lindquist was a minor when he was charged. So it doesn’t show up in circuit court records. Not only that but he was charged in Minnesota, not Wisconsin…

      1. Ok…from a legal standpoint then:

        A landlord does not have a duty to check on the status of an applicant as a convicted sex offender.

        The law prohibits sex offender registry information from being used for the purpose of denying housing. A landlord who does use the registry for that purpose can be sued for damages and possibly fined.

            1. Your argument keeps shifting….as does your identity. Are you Andrea or Eli? I ask because you’re both posting at almost the same time from the exact same IP address.

    1. Further, his Wisconsin record most assuredly would have showed up in a CCAP search, and that record includes multiple civil judgments, a conviction for Disorderly Conduct – Domestic Violence, and multiple OWI convictions.

      What’s more, nothing changes the fact that Jonathan Steitz had a registered sex offender living in a house he owns.

      1. I thought liberals were all about rehabilitation and giving people a second chance. That’s what Carl needed, and he got it from a good Christian family. The letter of the law was followed with regards to the whole situation once the non-compliance surfaced, and to demonize Jonathan on a non-issue such as this while the stock-market is crashing and our local economy is in need of healing is unconscionable. This article is designed to cloud the REAL issues facing this community and to keep fleabaggers like Bob Wirch in office. If you want to discuss criminal activity let’s talk about how Wirch violated Wisconsin criminal statues with regards to leaving the state while in public office, and how he should have been charged with a class 1 felony because he took a vacation to Illinois when he had a responsibility to uphold to us.

        1. Know what I hate? Sock puppets.

          I mean, I’m a big fan of sock puppets like Sifl & Olly, but I hate internet sock puppets.

          That being said, what “Class 1” felony (is there even such a thing in Wisconsin) did Bob Wirch supposedly violate?

        2. You have been listening to Walker and his Repug poodles too much. Class A felony? Get a life!

  2. … this story could only be richer if 3902 Sheridan Rd. was directly across from an elementary school.

    Somehow I don’t see Steitz as a good samaritan aiding a piteously discriminated against sex offender (minor or not/Minnesota or Wisconsin), drunk driver and dis-orderly citizen. If so, he could have rented the house as a halfway house.

    Nor do I think Steitz would be a staunch supporter of anti-discriminatory housing laws; more likely he’s a “not in my neighborhood” kind of guy.

    Or is my stereotype unfair?

    Doesn’t the Republican party vet anyone any more? Sorry, but if you want the public trust, you have to make some sacrifices- lots of people lose money before they can sell a house.

    1. Up north the Republicans are supporting a real nut-case-Kim Simac who thinks our public schools are Nazi camps. Vetting?? Maybe?

  3. @ Zack W…946.12 Misconduct in public office. Any public officer or public employee who does any of the following is guilty of a Class I felony:

    (1) Intentionally fails or refuses to perform a known mandatory, nondiscretionary, ministerial duty of the officer’s or employee’s office or employment within the time or in the manner required by law; or

      1. Do you have a link for your material?

        BTW–did anyone ever charge the hero’s–the WI Dem 14 with your fictitious Class 1 felony?

    1. Says you, who I’m betting isn’t an attorney.

      Heck, I’m not even sure you’re “Eli.”

      Are you sure you aren’t “Andrea?”

    2. I think Wirch was doing exactly what he was elected to do. The GOP, on the other hand, was guilty of violating the Open Meetings Law–Walker’s pet justice Prosser’s opinion notwithstanding.

  4. actually Eli, i would say that the republicans who stayed and cut off public debate and had closed meetings with no public notice violated that rule much more than the 14 who left WI.

  5. @Jeff…so you are admitting that the “WI 14” violated the law. That’s all I need to know.


    1. Just how random was this landlord tenant relationship- an answer to a realtor listing, referral from a friend, family relationship, bar buddies?

    2. Oooooh! You really got him there! There’s a career at Fox News in your future. In the meantime, try to observe Wheaton’s Law of Internet Discourse: Say what you think, but don’t be a dick.

  6. Where’s the dude’s parole officer in all of this? Is there a warrant out for the sex offender?

    1. CJ, he may not have a parole officer. He could have discharged from whatever sentence/supervision he was ordered to serve while still needing to register as a sex offender.

  7. Ok. Fair enough. So what’s up with the Kenosha police department then? Shouldn’t they have jurisdiction?

  8. I really don’t think this is a campaign issue. If the GOP was attacking Wirch on these grounds I’d defend him. I don’t think Steitz deserves to be smeared this way and I wish the DPW wouldn’t do things like this.

    1. A rare moment of agreement.

      This is a pretty lame attempt of character defamation… and to violate the ordinance, Steitz would have had to know Lindquist was a sex offender. I’m going to make a wild guess that he didn’t run a background check and therefore had no idea.

      It doesn’t sound like Steitz rents out property for a living, so it probably didn’t cross his mind that something like this could happen.

      This is not a campaign issue… but it is a good life lesson to all you potential landlords out there…

  9. I think one of the big reasons we have 2 parties who know they don’t have to be attentive to the whims of the little guys is that the little guys spend their days distracted by side shows, rather than the issues.

    Distract and divide.

  10. Perhaps the answer to your question as to why he did it is that it is his property to do with whatever he wants, and he doesn’t care what you think. Registered sex offenders have to live somewhere, and believe it or not, there are some who aren’t monsters. Many are older men who were entrapped by cops during gay-baiting stings in which they’d proposition men in restrooms. They plead guilty to misdemeanors out of fear of discrimination many years ago when they had no idea it would make them registered sex offenders. Others slept with 16 and 17 year old girls when they were 18 or 19. And here’s a point for you: disseminating information from sex offender registries, even though that information is public and available to anyone who chooses to look, can open you to civil and criminal liability. I’m liberal, too, and probably wouldn’t like this guy’s politics. But the way your attacking him here is despicable.

    1. Just to clarify, while it may be Steitz’s property, the City of Kenosha’s sex offender ordinance means he can’t “do with whatever he wants” with the property, such as he can’t allow a registered sex offender to live within a certain radius of a school, which was the case here.

      As to your point that disseminating information from a sex offender registry could open one to civil or criminal liability, the Minnesota Predatory Offender Registration system’s restrictions do not state the information can’t be disseminated; it simply says the information can’t be used to “injure, harass, or commit a criminal act against persons named in the registry,” and I didn’t use the information to do any of those things.

      Nice try!

  11. Just to clarify, those laws restrict where registered sex offenders live. That’s the offender’s problem, not the landlord’s. The law doesn’t restrict what landlords can do or make them criminally liable.

    And, if you’ll look at the case law, disseminating the information from the cite is PRECISELY the type of thing courts have ruled is harassment. I don’t know where you got your law degree, but mine’s hanging on the wall behind me. If you still think I’m wrong, contact an attorney or just do a little reading yourself.

    You’re one of these people who thinks that they are competent to presume what laws mean and their consequences without a legal education. You’re dead wrong about this stuff, and you’ll be lucky if you don’t get your a** sued off. What makes you think you know what is meant by “injure or harass?”

    So, nice try on your end!

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