The Northwest Herald will have a story shortly that Sheriff Nygren didn't like the decision of the arbitrator in Zane Seipler's case and will be appealing that decision to Circuit Court.
Man! Talk about being a sore loser!
Nygren fired Seipler last November. Seipler went to arbitration in July. The decision this week was Seipler 1, Nygren 0. The arbitrator concluded that Nygren should not have fired Seipler and that a three-day unpaid suspension was appropriate and sufficient discipline. The arbitrator awarded Seipler all back pay, except for the three-day period.
On Friday the Sheriff's Department Merit Commission is to meet. So, is it the Sheriff who fires deputies, or does the Merit Commission fire them?
If the Merit Commission is the public body that decides whether to appeal, how can the Sheriff jump in ahead of time and say the matter is going to Circuit Court?
Unless the Merit Commission is a paid, rubber-stamp operation for the Sheriff. Is it? Surely, a $75.00 per diem can't gain an elected official that much influence over a public body.
But, then, how much of a public body is the Merit Commission, since its members are appointed by the Sheriff? Perhaps it's time for the County Board to assume authority over the Merit Commission and make independent appointments.
Zane already has 11 months' pay coming. How long will it take to get a decision in Circuit Court? A year? Let's see; that'll be November 2010. Bingo! Election time! And by then Zane will have two years' coming.
Today I emailed the Merit Commission to request that they put the Seipler reinstatement on the Agenda for Friday's meeting. I sent the request through the HR Department of the County, because the Chairperson of the Merit Commission told me previously that she didn't want me to email her at her Woodstock City government job.
I wonder if that means that she never conducts Merit Commission business during normal working hours for her Woodstock job. In a perfect world that would be true. Are we in a perfect world?
If the Sheriff is worried about having a guy "like Zane" in his department, let me ask you this.
Suppose you were Sheriff and a Captain with the State Police called you and told you that he had received information that deputies were going to have a big drinking party at a bar that night and that a DUI checkpoint had been requested to catch any drunk drivers. What would you do?
If I were Sheriff, I'd have asked that Captain why he was calling me! "You've got a complaint? Go out and do something about it. Need some extra help?" And I sure as heck would not have spread the name of the caller around roll call the next week!!!