Kenosha County Board chairman charged with felony retail theft

NOW: Kenosha County Board chairman charged with felony retail theft

KENOSHA, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Kenosha County Board chairman Daniel Esposito has been charged with felony retail theft after police say he stole from a Menards store on Nov. 2.

Police say the value of the items purportedly taken was $627. 

According to a criminal complaint, Esposito stole three 4.75 gallon containers of white silicone roof coating, at $209 a piece. In an interview with law enforcement, he claimed to have paid for it, but was unable to provide a receipt.

Police say video surveillance shows Esposito load the containers into a truck and pile insulation on top of them. They say the containers were not visible in the video as the truck was leaving through a guard gate.

In most cases, people taken into custody over the weekend would not be released from jail until the following Monday, but Esposito was a free man just a couple of hours after his arrest.

Former City of Kenosha Alderman, Kevin Mathewson is outraged Esposito was released from Kenosha County Jail early.

"In this case we have a chiropractor who owns many rentals in the city, he's pretty wealthy and happens to be the County Board Chairman, he should not be treated any differently than any other member of the community," said Mathewson. 

Sergeant Chris Hannah with the Kenosha County Sheriff's Department says it's a decision made on a case-by-case basis. They say Esposito is not a flight risk or a danger to the public. Hannah says they also took his close connection to the community into consideration.

Still,  the early release is rubbing some people the wrong way.

"I'm not sure if preferential treatment was given to him, I certainly hope there wasn't," said Zachary Rodriguez, Kenosha County Board Supervisor. "I wouldn't expect the same for myself, you know especially being an elected official there's standards you have to hold yourself to."

"He will have his due process and that's fair, but if he really did what they're saying he did, he should resign immediately," said Mathewson. 

The case will not be handled by the Kenosha County District Attorney, instead it was referred to the Walworth County District Attorney's Office. 

"It's important that we get this case out of the county where there will be no bias," adds Mathewson. 

CBS 58 went to Esposito's home on Thursday, it appeared that someone was home, but they never came to the door.

Kenosha County Supervisor Mike Skalitzky says the board will be questioning the Sheriff’s Department over Esposito's early release.

An investigation into the theft is ongoing. 

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