At the February 10th meeting of the McHenry County Sheriff's Department Merit Commission I intended to ask the Commissioners how the position of Undersheriff is filled, should a vacancy occur. A rumor had been floating around that Gene Lowery was interested in the Deputy Chief's position at the Crystal Lake Police Department, following Dennis Harris' retirement.
The scheduled regular meeting was canceled at the last minute for lack of a quorum. Some will likely accuse me of suspecting a conspiracy to withhold information about Lowery's move, which had not yet become public knowledge; bring it on. Did anyone "request" three of the Commissioners to duck the meeting? Who was the third Commissioner to notify the secretary (or Chairman) that s/he would not attend? (Does the chairperson have a standing conflict, due to her employment as Human Resources Director for the City of Woodstock?)
If they were aware of Lowery's application and strong chance of selection, shouldn't they have made every effort to be present at the meeting, so that business could be conducted?
Some say that the lieutenants' and sergeants' eligibility lists have expired, and an agenda item was "Extension" of those lists. Without a quorum, no action could be taken. Does that mean the current lists continue or that now there are no lists of eligible candidates for any open positions?
So, what is the process for filling the Undersheriff's slot when Lowery leaves the sheriff's department and moves to Crystal Lake P.D.? Does Sheriff Nygren merely tap the person he wants as Undersheriff and appoint that person? Or does this position require a vote by the Merit Commission? Does the County Board have anything to do with the appointment? Is there a "short list"?
The next scheduled meeting of the Merit Commission is Wednesday, March 10, 10:30AM, at 667 Ware Road. Please mark your calendars now, Commissioners.