Former Cudahy Mayor John Hohenfeldt charged with felony relating to post-election misconduct

A couple of months ago I wrote a piece asking if former Cudahy Mayor John Hohenfeldt had broken the law by using a notary seal that didn’t belong to him to falsely swear out a complaint relating to the 2019 election here in Cudahy. Former Mayor Hohenfeldt’s actions were discovered by former aldermanic candidate Arnold Naqellari and this week came news Hohenfeldt has been charged with one count Attempt Falsely Act as Public Official, a class I felony here in Wisconsin.

While I cannot confirm I have been told that after being confronted about his behaviors John Hohenfeldt made some form of admission in writing to the alleged illegal behaviors so it will be interesting to see how his pending criminal case pans out.

Did former Cudahy mayor break the law before leaving office?

From the City of Cudahy’s website comes this nugget:

On Thursday, April 11th, 2019, the Cudahy Police Department received information regarding a Wisconsin Ethics Commission complaint form. Based upon that information, the Cudahy Police Department presented the documentation to the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s office. The complaint has been referred to the Wisconsin Department of Justice for investigation.

Mayor Thomas Pavlic

Mayor Pavlic’s press release doesn’t get into specifics about the issues with the Ethics Commission complaint form that led to a referral to the District Attorney’s office (and later the Department of Justice); however former Cudahy aldermanic candidate Arnold Naquellari (one of the targets of the complaint) has indicated the issue with the complaint is the apparent falsification of the complaint itself. The complaint was filed by “John Smith” and later notarized certifying “John Smith” as the complainant; however “John Smith” doesn’t appear to be a real person. Arnold Naquellari did some digging and determined the individual who filed a notarized complaint is none other than former Cudahy Mayor John Hohenfeldt; however the plot thickens because while the complaint filed by “John Smith” was notarized, Cudahy’s notary public has indicated she did not notarize the document in question. Other than the city’s notary public the only person with access to the notary’s stamp was former Mayor John Hohenfeldt.

There have been rumors of a law enforcement investigation, and now CBS 58 is reporting both Cudahy’s current mayor and police chief have confirmed an investigation is taking place. Forgery is a felony, and if John Hohenfeldt did in fact commit forgery he violated not only the laws of the state of Wisconsin but the oath he took when he was sworn in as Cudahy’s mayor.

Cudahy Alderman Randy Hollenbeck’s record of broken promises

In 2013 Randy Hollenbeck ran for alderman in Cudahy’s third aldermanic district. During his campaign, Hollenbeck made a made a series of very specific promises to his future constituents. Six years later – as Ald. Hollenbeck vies for a third term in office – I thought it might be useful to take a few moments to review the promises Randy Hollenbeck made in 2013 to see if he’s truly a man of his word or just another politician who will say whatever it takes to get elected.

Here’s a list of the promises Randy Hollenbeck made in 2013 along with updates on whether Ald. Hollenbeck actually lived up to those promises:

  1. I will keep “the people” informed of what is going on in the city. I will come home after a Common Council meeting and let people know what was said and done! I will not post the private in closed session items, but the rest I will.
  2. This is absolutely 100% a broken promise. As far as I can tell Ald. Hollenbeck hasn’t blogged about Common Council meetings even once since he was elected to office. In fact, he’s largely been absent from social media since being elected despite being a very active blogger prior to being elected.

  3. I want to have an email list of District 3 constituents that would like to know what is going on and for me to ask them what they want me to do.
  4. While my wife and I did get emails from Ald. Hollenbeck for a brief period following his election eventually we stopped getting emails from Ald. Hollenbeck. I’m not sure if Ald. Hollenbeck still sends out regular emails to his constituents, and if he does he’s not sending them to all his constituents who’ve requested them. This promise is mostly broken in my opinion.

  5. I will call those that prefer that method and will of course post on my blog.
  6. Perhaps Ald. Hollenbeck is calling some constituents to provide updates, but I haven’t heard from anyone confirming he’s doing that. As I noted above Ald. Hollenbeck hasn’t posted anything on his blog in years, so this promise is at least half broken.

  7. I will on the major items the Common Council votes on if not given enough time to talk and get the wishes and direction of District 3 constituents as for the vote to be tabled until such time as I can how the District 3 constituents would like me to vote.
  8. I can’t recall Ald. Hollenbeck ever asking for a vote to be tabled so he can consult his constituents on how to vote. Then again, I stopped getting emails from Ald. Hollenbeck, so it’s hard to tell what he’s been up to.

  9. I will push to get the Common Council televised and on the web!
  10. Cudahy’s Common Council meetings are still not televised or on the web consistently. While some meetings have been put on the web, Cudahy Ald. Justin Moralez has been the alderman responsible for posting those meetings to the web – Ald. Hollenbeck had noting to do with putting the meetings on the web. This is yet another broken promise.

  11. I will hold town hall meetings to have face to face time with the District 3 constituents.
  12. Ald. Hollenbeck has not held any town hall meetings with his constituents since he was elected. This is absolutely a broken promise.

  13. I plan on walking the district talking to people not just during election time.
  14. As far as I can tell this is a broken promise. The only time I’ve seen Randy Hollenbeck “walking the district” is when he marches (or more accurately is driven) in the city’s annual Fourth of July parade, which happens to run in part through Ald. Hollenbeck’s district. However I will note I doubt if Ald. Hollenbeck were “talking the district” he’d knock on my door to talk to my wife and I given the animosity he seems to have towards us.

  15. As Alderman for the 3rd District of Cudahy I will be pushing that Cudahy’s Economic Development Director Brian Biernat comes to one Common Council meeting a month and explain in meeting and during the open session what is going on.
  16. From what I’ve been told Brian Biernat does not attend one Common Council meeting per month to explain “what is going on.” Ald. Hollenbeck may have pushed for Biernat to attend meetings but it certainly appears whatever pushing (if any) Ald. Hollenbeck did was unsuccessful.

If you’d like to read more about Cudahy Ald. Hollenbeck and his track record both before and after his election to office be sure to check out my archive on Blogging Blue