Letter to the D.A.


March 24, 2014

To: Richard Chiapete

District Attorney’s Office

730 Wisconsin Ave

Racine, Wisconsin 53403

From: Wayne Clingman

236 Jones Street

Racine, Wisconsin 53404

Dear Mr Chiapete,
I am writing this correspondence to you in regards to questionable activities related “Rootworks” a project of the Root River Council intended to transform 3.26 acres of the Racine’s downtown river corridor into a live, work, condominium, boardwalk redevelopment plan.
I am concerned with two of the Rootwork board members in particular, Marty Defatte and Monte Osterman, whose role in advocating for Rootworks demands closer scrutiny. I believe they are involved in a behind-the-scenes scheme that is ethically questionable, and from which they will use their offices and positions to profit from the sale of Mound Ave Bluff property, which would be purchased with city financing and a DNR grant.
On March 4, 2014, Monte Osterman, Root River Council Chairman, Racine County supervisor and owner of Osterman Marble and Granite, spoke before the Racine City Council to advocate that public money be spent on Rootworks. Monte Osterman neglected to mention that he also owns a private business named  Osterman Marble and Granite which is located at 1251 Mound Ave. Therefore he has a personal financial interest in the proceedings. The same building his fellow Root River Council member Marty Defatte is selling as a broker for Shorewest Realty. Sec. 2-580 Failure to disclose economic interest.

Sec. 2-581 prohibited conduct.  a. Violation of work rules. b. Use of office for private gain. d. Taking action of affecting a matter in which an official has financial interest. f. Misconduct in office.



Inasmuch as these two gentlemen knew as early as 2008 of the proposed development of this land (due to Osterman’s position with Rootworks) is it not suspicious that he chose this location for his granite and marble business when so many other suitable properties are available in the city that would not require him to relocate again within a short time?
Also in a hurried up effort to secure funding, proper, required, and legal procedures were violated. On April 1, 2013 at a Racine Redevelopment Authority meeting it was decided to apply for a Knowles Nelson stewardship grant from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Allocating $25,000 for appraisals and surveys Matt Sadowski assistant city planner stated that the request for proposals would be sent out for bidding. No request for proposals was ever sent out although the statutes are clear that one was required. The appraisals and surveys were conducted on April 18, 19, of 2013 and completed on April 22, 2013. Three days of work. $15,700 for appraisals, $4,944 for surveys, attorney fees of $2,000 and title work for $1,500 for a total of 24,144. How was a figure so close to the allotment arrived at with no proposal having been offered or approved within the 17 days between the allotment being made and the work being performed?
Section 2-332 of the City of Racine ordinance is quite clear that the Common Council must first provide approval prior to applying for grants. Shouldn’t the results of the April 1, 2013 RDA meeting, resulting in resolution 13–05, have been forwarded to the finance and personnel committee for discussion and a recommendation then to the Common Council for a final vote prior to the proceedings? It was never done. John Dickert and Matt Sadowski rushed through the process contrary to law and without all the required approvals and submitted the paperwork to the DNR on May 1, 2013.Sec.2-332. Duties 4. Sec.2-108 b d. 946.72 Tampering with public records and notices.



The entire process of requesting a grant from the Department of Natural Resources has been flawed. The process of purchasing the Mound Ave Bluff is also flawed an investigation needs to be opened and inquiries made. Who knew what and when? I am asking t for a full investigation into this matter.



I believe this is not the only violation the City of Racine has committed and I intend to bring those to your attention as well in a timely manner.  Until then, I look forward to your response regarding the above irregularities regarding the “Mound Ave. Overlook” project. I have enclosed a media investigation packet into the allegations I have made. All the statements made are backed up by official documents.


Wayne Clingman

Media Consultant  Racine Equality Project


Be interesting to see what happens. Should the laws not be followed or the reason why not be told ASAP?