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Manager of sober living facility charged with 10th drunken driving

By Andrea Anderson
August 12, 2015

ELKHORN—A manager of a town of Geneva sober living facility is facing his 10th drunken-driving charge, according to court documents.

John M. McBean, 50, was stopped by town of Geneva Police at about 11:30 p.m. July 25 after leaving the New Life Lodge where he is a manager, documents state.

Town of Geneva police arrested McBean following a domestic abuse complaint earlier that day at the lodge, N3155 County H, town of Geneva, according to court documents.

A resident of the transitional living facility called town of Geneva police after McBean threatened two men at the transitional living facility, according to court documents.

Town of Geneva Police Chief Steven Hurley said the incident started when McBean wanted to borrow a facility vehicle but was told he couldn't after people noticed he was intoxicated.

McBean threatened one man by saying he was going to get his gun from his nearby town of Geneva home and come back. That's when police were called, according to police documents obtained by The Gazette.

McBean was driving one-tenth of a mile from the facility when police stopped him, court documents indicate.

McBean's address is N3117 County H.

Walworth County Judge Phil Koss set a $10,000 cash bond July 26 before McBean appeared in front of Judge Kristine Drettwan on July 28.

David Malkus, a student attorney for the Walworth County Public Defender's Office, on July 28 asked bond be lowered to $3,000 because McBean lives in the town of Geneva, has family in the area, has “strong ties to the community” and had been sober for 20 years, according to a transcript of the hearing.

McBean was convicted of drunken driving eight times in Illinois between 1985 and 1999 and once in Wisconsin in 1996, according to the criminal complaint.

The nonprofit New Life Lodge opened in 2011 and is run by KS Ministries owned by Karen Stein, according to its website.

The transitional living facility is for people who are looking to turn lives of addiction into lives free of substance abuse, according to the website.

The lodge is described on its website as offering individual and group counseling, job assistance and help in building life skills that can be used in a sober future.

Staff administer random drug and urine tests and complete resident room checks, according to its website.

Hurley described the facility as an “asset” to the community.

The Gazette was unable to reach Stein or McBean's new attorney, James Duquette, for comment.

McBean also was cited for operating while suspended.

McBean remains in custody at the Walworth County Jail on the $10,000 cash bond. He will appear in court next at 8:30 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 13, at the Walworth County Judicial Center.