Sunday, December 26, 2010

Learning experiences - 2010 style

Sheriff Nygren, of the McHenry County (Ill.) Sheriff's Department (is there another?), has had many opportunities to learn in the past year or so. I wonder what advantage he has taken of them - if any.

He picked battles with a couple of deputies. One he has already completely lost, but he hasn't coughed up the spoils of victory yet.

Another he is very likely to lose in February, and that one will cost him (well, actually, "us") about $200,000.

And now there is another. You can see it coming in the transcript of a Federal Court hearing in Rockford on December 15. Read the transcript at

And he certainly picked the wrong battle in September 2009 in the Jewel-Osco parking lot. And now that date is about to become infamous for another reason.

Most likely, Sheriff Nygren has never read The Art of War or any other writings by Sun-tzu, Chinese general and military strategist (c. 400BC). One of the more famous quotes of Sun-Tzu is "Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer."

A new antagonist of Sheriff Nygren has been put on administrative leave. The next step for the sheriff may be the Merit Commission meeting on January 12 when, I would guess, he will ask the Merit Commission to approve the firing of that deputy. Unless, of course, a Special Meeting is called sooner.

Oh, and recently settled? I heard that Susan O'Grady got $90,000. Case No. 32009CV50012 in Federal Court involved two MCSD deputies and a warrant service that "went south." She was arrested for resisting a peace officer (McHenry County Case No. 08CM000972) in April 2008, and it was thrown out in December 2008. My notes indicate that Deputies Miller and Pena failed to appear in court, and the State (the prosecutors) asked the judge to nolle prosequi the case; i.e., drop it. The defendant objected - did not want the case dropped. But the judge dropped it, anyway.

(I recall a case on the civil side in McHenry County, where the defendant did not want a case dropped. He wanted his day in court to prove he was not guilty. He didn't get it.)

When two deputies are notified by the State's Attorney's office of a court date and they don't show up, what should happen to them? Why wouldn't they show up? After all, they wouldn't arrest someone if they didn't have good reason. And handle the arrest properly. Right? Right? So two years and $90,000 later (not counting the legal costs to the Sheriff's Department and County), it's over.

Where was the Sheriff in all this? Why wasn't he yelling at the deputies and demanding to know why they didn't show up in court? And why didn't the judge tell the parties to "have a seat" and make them wait while he sent the bailiff to get the deputies??? (I know, I know... I like the term "bailiff" better than "courtroom security officer".)

Oh, did I mention promotions and advancement?

A good question at MCSD is, "What do I have to do around here to get promoted?"

A lot of the deputies could tell you. Wreck enough patrol cars. Write enough tickets to Hispanics and call them Caucasian. Do what you are told, whether you like it or not (and whether it's right or not).

Remember the couple of seniors near Crystal Lake who were arrested in their home, after a warrant was served on their adult son? It took over a year for criminal charges against them to be dropped. And then they turned around and sued the Sheriff's Department, using a Chicago Loop law firm (smart move). I haven't spoken with them since the day in court when the charges were dropped, and now I hear the Sheriff's Department is about to settle with them. Of course, the Sheriff maintains that his deputies didn't do anything wrong.

Wouldn't it be interesting to see the scorecard of legal costs and settlements run up by MCSD in the past 3-4 years? If we had an investigative newspaper in the County, you'd think they'd sic a reporter on that story. But they should have done that last September, before the election.


But Seriously said...

The Sheriff picked battles with a couple of Deputies? Really? Did he use some type of mind control to make one sign a document saying that a passenger was "speeding", or did he use that same mind control to apparently cause another to have a panic disorder that allegedly did not allow him to get into a squad car? Even if they both get back pay...what in essence turns into a paid leave is worth every penny if keeps such officers off the street.

But Seriously said...

I think what a few just don't get is that these cases involving these to deputies has been vetted publicly and McHenry County residents have overwhelmingly made their opinions known in recent elections. Just because some high powered union backed Cook County attorneys may find a loophole to get these guys back does not mean that your typical citizen that Nygren represents does not support his decision to try to fire them.

Notawannabee said...

Big difference of opinion here Gus. You say He ( Nygren) picked battles with a couple of deputies.

I suppose in the corporate world, when an employee run amuck and gets fired, the boss is picking a battle. When employees, whether public of private, do not follow established rules, and in fact misbehave, they get disciplined. What is the boss to do, ignore it?

Just because these are some people that you are associated with and feed your ego, does not make them right. Public employee unions defend the bad teachers, bad cops and he bad firemens.

Don't always believe what these slugs tell you Gus.

Gus said...

Nota, why would you refer to an arbitrator, Judge Meyer, and three Appellate Court judges as "slugs"?

But Seriously said...

You do understand that all those people you named agreed that something was done wrong and was punishable, right? The only disagreement was about what the punishment/remediation should be...The public has heard both sides and have made it clear in local elections they support what was done.

Gus said...

ButS, I'd say that 53,822 voters in McHenry County never gave a moment's thought to either issue.

Well, okay; you did, so make that 53,821 voters.

But Seriously said... you didn't give a moment thought to either issue...I guess Zane, Mahon's and your campaigns really did not get the word out if no one gave a moments thought to such pet issues...

Gus said...

ButS, please review the voting result in McHenry County.

4,644 votes, Gus Philpott (5.04%)
33,597 votes, Mike Mahon (36.49%)
53,822 votes, Keith Nygren (58.46%)

Thus, 38,241 (41.5%) of the 92,063 voters voted AGAINST Nygren.

AZ Supporter said...

Thus, 53,822 people voted FOR Nygren and AGAINST you two and what you stood for or believed. It's called majority rules, and has been a basic tenent of our judicial system since it started. Saying it loud,long and often doesn't necessarily make it so. And, Gus, I'm sorry, but if I had been a cop and those two parents of a criminal had interferred with MY arrest of their criminal son on a valid warrant signed by a judge, they would have gone to jail too, age be darn. Obstruction of a police officer in the comission of his/her official duties is a crime, period. What the SA's office did was flee in the face of nothing.

Gus said...

How short memories are...

The arrest had been made. The son was in the patrol car. Official duties were over.

The deputies wanted to search their home. They probably would have trashed it. The Pavlins told the deputies to leave. The deputies refused. At that point, the deputies were trespassing and illegally in the Pavlins' home. The Pavlins called 9-1-1 for help.

What will that cost the County? $250,000? $500,000? $1,000,000?

Gene said...

AZ Supp., Obama had a majority also. Are you happy with that moron. Just so you know the county attorney has called the Pavlin's attorney to offer to settle before trial. That is usually only done when you know you are going to LOSE. The O'Grady case just settled for 90 large. How much will this one cost us. Also, you can't go into a third party residence with a misdemeanor warrant and then try to search the residence after the arrest is made.But I know, you're a moron. What the heck is an "AZ Supporter", some new brand of jock strap.

AZ Supporter said...

Nope-America got what it deserved when it voted for Obama; a lesson in not knowing what they're voting for. Some could say the same about Nygren, but they both still won. Settling their suit wouldn't have had to happen if Bianchi had not run away from doing his job- not being there, neither of us, we couldn't know anything about what they did or the officers tried to do. And a cop can go wherever the offender is with a warrant, and the family cannot legally block a lawful arrest. Also, tried to look up the origional O'Grady case-not there, anything of it. Even if dismissed, it should still be in the system.
And, the name means I support Arizona in it fight against illegal immigration. Don't you?

Gus said...

From my notes, Susan O'Grady was charged with resisting arrest by Deputy Sgt. Anthony Penna. The case in McHenry County Circuit Court was 08CM000972.

Judge Meyer dismissed the case on 12/1/08, upon the State's Motion. The Court's Order read, "on State's Motion - State representing that Officers Penna and Miller having been noticed to appear, the State moving to Nolle Prosse over Defendant's objection..."

Penna and Miller did not appear, even though State said they had been "noticed" to appear.

Perhaps the criminal charge was expunged?