Looking on the Bright Side

What do Manitowoc and Fontana have in common?
It took a national television expose to reveal that Manitowoc, Wisconsin was, and likely remains, a pit filled with petty corrupt officials and a justice system patterned after something the Soviet Union designed for them in the fifties. Drive in Fontana and you will likely experience the old style speed traps that were common on Route 66 among the small bergs that dotted that American arterial highway. Drive from Town of Linn toward Walworth. Before you get there on County B, moving from east to west, you will drive through a small slice of Fontana. That little stretch of road generates more traffic fines than all other roads around Geneva Lake combined.

Fontana police, under the guidance of David “I’m not Jimmy” Olson, stations police cars there hidden in private driveways. The Fontana officers ticket supposed offenders left and right, with about seventy percent dedicated to Illinois residents. The usual ticket is speeding and the speed determined (by mystical means) is almost always twenty miles an hour, or a bit more, over the 35 mile an hour limit. One signpost ‘up ahead’ notes the drop down from 45 and one other the drop down from 55 along that tiny stretch. Most offenders are angry so they go to the kangaroo court where the sitting judge happens to work part time. His full time job is working for an automobile insurance company.

By the way, forget about winning because the reason the officer gave you a twenty-over ticket was because you can then be threatened with a one-year suspension of your license if the judge sees fit. The insurance agent judge will see fit. The broken leadership of Fontana extends into so many departments it’s hard to keep up. For years Fontana has been famous with citing drunk drivers and then towing their cars from the scene so that the driver can not only face the punishments to be handed out in Walworth County Court, but can also pay five hundred bucks to the tow company (and Fontana gets a cut of the action) to get the car back. Everyone goes to Sentry in Walworth, but be very, very careful on that road and don’t be from Illinois.

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