Friday, January 23, 2015

Deputy chief - not merited position?

A reader informed me today that he thought the deputy chief of patrol position (presently occupied by Matt McNamara, was not a merited position.

Apart from the double entendre here, the point that he was making was that he thought the position of "deputy chief" was an appointed position.

While that's true, the position is commonly bestowed on a deputy from the ranks; ex., John Miller was Commander of Patrol Division. My understanding is that there is no employment position of Commander. I believe Miller was a Lieutenant and, when Nygren put him in charge of Patrol, Miller was given the "title" of Commander. (By the way, what's his position now?)

We know that Andy Zinke left the Department (and left a mess in the sally port by his squad car), rather than face the humiliation of a "demotion" and re-assignment. Where is Zinke now? Did he really land a job somewhere?

However, the message from this reader got me to thinking not only about how McNamara got a job and got started so quickly, but what about David Devane, Ricardo Pagán and Sandra Salgado?

What is the policy of McHenry County Government for hiring new employees? Are positions supposed to be advertised, in order to attract the candidates with the highest qualifications? Or can a hiring manager just point his finger and say "That's my guy"?

The Sheriff might be able to hire about anyone he wants but, because that employee has the potential to bring risk to the County, does the County get a say in the matter?

Will the County Board flex its muscles and demand some straight answers? Or will it (they) just roll over and cross their fingers?

Has anyone seen even one word on the McHenry County Blog about Prim's putting on his new hat as King and annointing his friend and political supporter, Matt McNamara, with a new job? What do you suppose McNamara's pay is? $100,000/year?

Thursday, January 22, 2015

FEN shuts off McNamara comments

First Electric Newspaper shut off comments, just after noon today, to its article about the hiring of Matt McNamara by Sheriff Prim.

I posted a comment yesterday, and Pete Gonigam removed it. It wasn't a harshly written comment, but it was pointed.

Today there are comments similar to mine; i.e., about the "vetting" of claims related to Matt, whether he provided security services for a government "official" and other questions. Pete has allowed those comments but, for some strange reason, he deleted mine. Perhaps because I posted by my name, rather than as Anonymous.

I posted this comment today at 10:45AM, and he removed it, too.


"Anonymous wrote at 9:27AM, 'Since Mr. McNamara was vetted before he was hired as security for federal and state officials, it certainly should be good enough for McHenry County.'

"No, I don't think so. Was McNamara was ever hired as security for a federal or state OFFICIAL? Or was he only hired by a candidate for office? Understand the difference?"

John Lovaas had some comments, which you might want to read on the FEN site. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

McNamara - rapid hiring - how so?

How did Matt McNamara get hired so quickly? And into a supervisory role?

According to the Northwest Herald article, Matt McNamara has been hired as Deputy Chief of Patrol at the McHenry County Sheriff's Department. He apparently started on Monday, January 19, 2015.

How did he get hired so quickly? There is a hiring process in place, and certain parts of it are out of the hands of the Sheriff. Actually, out of the hands of any sheriff in Illinois. And that includes Sheriff Bill Prim, who only took office on December 1, 2014.

Whether or not McNamara should have been hired at all is highly questionable. He was convicted of assault in a bar fight in Iowa. What does that say about a person, any person? Is there an anger management problem? How has it been addressed?

Then he was convicted of a DUI in 2012 in Jerome, Arizona. In that traffic stop he lied to the police officer, saying that he was a Chicago Police officer. I'd say that Matt is lucky - really, really, really lucky - that he did not get criminally charged with that offense. And that is a serious, serious crime. And it shows a moral slip worse than the assault and the DUI.

Now comes Sheriff Bill Prim, who hires McNamara. What kind of background check was done? How was McNamara's alcohol use since 2012 evaluated? Was there a drug test before McNamara was hired?

But how did McNamara even get hired? There is a little thing called the Merit Commission that, legally, is to play a role in the hiring process. Did it?

The five-man commission is a man short. According to the Sheriff's Department website, the five-man commission is down to four. Brian Goode is no longer listed as a Merit Commission member. You'll recognize that name from the investigation of former Undersheriff Andy Zinke, who leaked confidential about a confidential DEA investigation. When did he leave the Commission? November 30th?

There is a pesky, little matter called the Illlinois Statutes and a section about how the Merit Commission operates. It's not supposed to be just a little tea party of five friends of the Sheriff. The Merit Commission is a public body of the McHenry County Board. For your late-night reading enjoyment you might try 55 ILCS 5/ about Counties Code.

Check out Section 5/3-8007. When was McNamara certified by the Merit Commission, so that he'd be in the pool of eligible candidates for consideration of hiring? You can check the Minutes of the Merit Commission for the December and January meetings for any action by them; i.e., if there were even any Merit Commission in December or January.

Did local media fall asleep at the switch and not monitor the meetings or, at least, the Minutes? Save your time; the January 8th meeting was canceled. There should have been a December 2014 meeting on the Calendar, but it didn't even make it onto the schedule (not even as canceled).

The legislature threw a bone to the Sheriff and may let him hire "chief deputies" without the blessing of the Merit Commission. Did the McHenry County Board exempt his hiring (quietly?) by Resolution at a December or January meeting?

From Section 55 ILCS 5/3-8010: Certification of applicants. The appointment of all personnel subject to the jurisdiction of the Merit Commission shall be made by the sheriff from those application who have been certified by the Commission as being qualified for appointment. When did the Commission certify McNamara? Did it?

So how did Matt apply and so quickly fly past all the other highly-qualified applicants for employment at the Sheriff's Department? Were there any significant shortcuts?

Prim destroys own credibility

It didn't take Bill Prim long to destroy his credibility as McHenry County Sheriff.

Prim took office on December 1, 2014, and on January 20 the Northwest Herald published an article that Prim had "given a supervisory position to a man whose criminal background became a target during Prim's bid for sheriff."

During the 2014 campaign for sheriff, it came out that Matt McNamara had been arrested in Jerome, Arizona for DUI. At the time he lied to the police officer, saying he was a Chicago PD officer. He wasn't.

And he was arrested and convicted in Iowa for an 2001assault during a bar fight.

The disdain and utter contempt for the public is displayed in the statements by David Devane, newly employed at the sheriff's department as one of Prim's so-called leaders. Said he to the Northwest Herald, "This whole issue of his (McNamara's) background was very thoroughly - almost nauseatingly - aired throughout the campaign." 

"Almost nauseatingly"? And this is a guy that Prim "allowed" to speak for him? Why didn't Prim stand up for himself???

What kind of dumb statement is that? It was properly raised!

And didn't McNamara work for the same department as Prim back in the 1990s? What were the circumstances surrounding his departure from that department?

Some people were curious why I didn't support Prim. I didn't trust him; that's why.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Last book you read?

What's the title of the last book you read?

Mark Twain (1835-1910) said, "The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage of the man who can't read them."

I just read David & Goliath, by Malcolm Gladwell. Gladwell also wrote The Tipping Point and Blink. And two others. And probably many articles.

What have you read recently?

National Popcorn Day

Did you miss it? Almost miss it? It's not too late.

Today, Monday, January 19, is National Popcorn Day.

So break out the Act II or Orville R. and enjoy a movie tonight with popcorn!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Who makes law in the U.S.?

                                                        Rep. Trey Gowdy

Who makes U.S. law?

Can the President refuse to enforce law properly passed? Can the President be selective about what parts of laws he enforces and what parts he denies?

Watch Rep. Gowdy make his remarks to the House in May 2014. This is worth your five minutes.

Check out other messages from U.S. Representative Trey Gowdy (S.C. - 4th District (Greenville, Spartanburg, S.C.)) on YouTube.