Friday, March 23, 2012

MCSD - no sheriff? What if ???

When a person runs for elected office, how important is it that he be eligible to run? No, I'm not talking about Obama and his country of birth. Something more important and a whole lot closer to home. Well, if you call McHenry County "home", that is...

There are certain State requirements for a person to run, say, for the office of Sheriff of McHenry County. Those requirements are:
1. U.S. citizen
2. Resident of McHenry County for at least one year
3. not a convicted felon
4. At least 18 years of age

Those are the requirements. All the candidates for sheriff in the November 2010 general election met those requirements.

However, and this is an important "however", there may be a disqualifier that applies to two of the candidates. As you'll remember, there were three candidates in the race: incumbent Keith Nygren, Michael Mahon and Gus Philpott.

Nygren was at the time the elected sheriff and was running for re-election.
Mahon was employed by the Cook County Sheriff's Office.
Philpott was self-employed.

Nygren should have known that he was disqualified from running for office. Mahon might not have known. Philpott was not disqualified.

What could possibly disqualifiy Nygren and Mahon? A Federal law. The Hatch Act. The Hatch Act of 1939. In summary, the Hatch Act prohibits state and local government employees from running for public office, if some federal funds support the position, even if their position is funded almost entirely with local funds. (Source: this summary appears on, which is not a legal reference but is a good starting place.)

The McHenry County Sheriff's Department receives substantial federal funds for jail and other operations; hence, wasn't Nygren disqualified from running for office in 2010?

Was Mahon also disqualified?

If both were, then there was one candidate for office remaining qualified. Eliminating Numbers 1 and 2 in the results of the General Election in November 2010, that gives the elected office to the only remaining person on the ballot.

What federal investigator will choose to remove Nygren from office, since he knew, or should have known, that he was ineligible to run? How fast can it be done?

Why didn't County officials recognize that Nygren  was ineligible? Was there any talk behind closed doors about the Hatch Act disqualifier?

Will Nygren have to refund $12,000/month for the past 16 months? Should I claim back pay? I've already stated that I will drive my own car. I don't need an over-size Chevy Tahoe with heated leather seats. And I'll buy my own gas.

How will I run an office of 400 employees? I have an experienced, law-enforcement officer already lined up. This person has more than 20 years' experience, including command experience, and is totally free of any ties to anyone at MCSD. This person is not from McHenry County and will work with me to clean up the department and restore its image with the public.

The motto of "To Protect and to Serve" will be restored, and the employees will find MCSD to be a professional operation, which they will once again be proud to name as their employer.


Ray said...

You left out the part where the law says that if two people are removed from the ballot, then we all have to live with someone who was elected by a minority (or perhaps one write in vote). I would imagine that you left it out of the article because there is no such law or process. Do you have a cite to that law?

In addition, while I am sure that you feel you would make a fine sheriff, I am sure that you wouldn't. The sheriff's office has many departments and hundreds of employees. You simply lack the gravitas to run that department, except in your own mind.

It's good to dream, I guess?

Ray said...

Oh, and the idea to bring in someone to run the office is weird if you think about it. Why not just have that person run for office. I am sure that in the impossibly unlikely event that you were elected sheriff, the voters intended to pick you so you could bring someone else in to run the office.

How professional is it for someone to bring in someone else to run the department? If you are thinking "not very" I think you hit the nail on the head.

But as I said, it is good to have fantasies, I guess?

Gus said...

Ray, polish your glasses.

If Nygren and Mahon were ineligible to run for the office of sheriff, then I was elected in November 2010. I don't have to now run; I did run.

Somewhere in your travels you may have come across the term Chief Operating Officer. I acknowledge my lack of experience. That's why I would bring in a highly-qualified person from outside McHenry County to run day-to-day operations.

We will restore integrity, honesty and transparency to the McHenry County Sheriff's Dept. That's what the citizens want. That's why the hard-working, honest employees of the sheriff's dept. want.

I didn't leave anything out of the article. Check the voting records. I got 5% of the vote.

Ray said...

Still waiting for that citation to the law that allows a candidate who did not beat others who were removed from the election to win ... my guess is that I will wait forever.

Item #2, you missed my point, you seem to imply that it would be ok for you to be elected sheriff, and then appoint someone to run the department ... that is the clearest example of how you think I could ever conceive ... (you really don't see how weird that is, do you?)

Oh btw, I received 33% of the vote for state senate, am I six times more elligible for office?

Gus said...

Come on, Ray. If the Hatch Act rains on Nygren's parade (and Mahon's, too), then I'm the last man standing. If they are removed, who's left? That's right. Yours truly.

The fact is that a sheriff with no law enforcement experience can be elected. No experience is required. None. Only enough votes. Legal votes, that is. Read above, again, what the requirements for office are.

What have we got right now? A sheriff who spent a month on a Panama Canal cruise right after he was elected, and who may have spent considerable other time in Cape Coral and Minocqua. Who was supposed to run the office while he was gone? The undersheriff, appointed by the sheriff.

So the precedent exists.

Oh, don't forget the deal with the Hebron house. Remember that? He sold the house and then refused to move out. The buyer should have had him arrested for trespassing.

I still wonder at the "good deal" on that house. Why did the buyer over-pay by $70,000?

Ray said...

The Hatch Act of 1939 is a United States federal law whose main provision is to prohibit employees (civil servants) in the executive branch of the federal government, except the President and the Vice President, from engaging in partisan political activity. Named after Senator Carl Hatch of New Mexico, the law was officially known as An Act to Prevent Pernicious Political Activities.

The act precluded federal employees from membership in "any political organization which advocates the overthrow of our constitutional form of government," which especially applied to fascist and communist organizations.

Oh, and going on a Panama Canal trip after winning an election is what the average person calls ...


Ray said...

Oh, and you still didn't direct us to the law that says that after an election where there was a winner, a runner up and an also ran ... that if after the election, the winner and runner up are removed ... that the also ran is automatically selected...

I think the reason you didn't direct us to that law is because...

it doesn't exist.

The Madd Bulldog said...

Well, TMB could qualify for Tin Star... I think? For #3, I was not "convicted". DOH!

Gus said...

Ray, keep reading about the Hatch Act. You didn't get to the important part (about local elected officials) yet.

"Standard"? For $12,000/month McHenry County deserves a full-time sheriff who doesn't take vacation time based on all his prior employment elsewhere. In fact, since the position is elected every four years, maybe "four years' service" is all he can claim for vacation time. Certainly, not 38 years!

I wonder, is it the McHenry County Clerk, the County Board, the Illinois State Board of Elections, the Illinois Attorney General or the U.S. Attorney that would determine whether Nygren and Mahon were eligible to run in the last election?

Steve said...

Gus, keep reading about the Hatch Act. You didn't get to the important part (about local officials) yet.

Yep, the Feds did extend it to the local government units but they also - if you research it beyond Wikipedia - state that it DOES NOT apply to someone campaigning for public office.

Think about it... how on earth did Richard Daley become mayor. He was state's attorney when he ran for the city post. How does any candidate run for reelection? The federal dole kicks in to every government entity you can name. Every single one. If the Hatch Act was meant to disenfranchise anyone working for government anywhere - don't you think it would have been used by now?

That was not and is not the legislative intent therefore your argument is as goofy as they come. Answer Ray's question. Show us the law. You can't because you're wrong - AGAIN

Gus said...

Steve, not sure you picked the right guy to refer to, when you picked Daley. Remember when he grabbed Meigs Field in the middle of the night and directed bulldozers to tear up the runway? You think Daley ever thought or cared about what the Feds thought?

Did you read the OpEd piece in the New York Times by the woman in charge of the U.S. Office of Special Counsel?

Info Getter said...

Gus why do you keep deflecting what they point out to you, and you only respond to the parts of the people they talk about!! You do that on every topic you post when people corner you! JUST ADMIT WHEN YOU ARE WRONG!!!!

Gus said...

OK, Info Getter. I'll admit it. I was wrong once.

That was the time I thought I had made a mistake, but I was wrong.

Ray said...

A couple of things..

First I quit this site before because of how lame the debate was, although I thought you had potential ... I have to admit that your non answers are bot depressing are not all that good, which is convincing me to quit all over again ...

Either answer the questions or don't ... but making "I am the most interesting man in the universe comments," is just deflecting the discussion....

Guess I will quit again in 4, 3, 2...

Concerned Citizen said...

Jeeze Gus, now there are only about 3 people that will comment on your dribble. Ray was spot on and guess what? He made you look more silly than you usually do to yourself.