Thursday, July 12, 2012

Sheriff's Merit Commission - 6-min. meeting!

The July meeting of the McHenry County Sheriff's Department Merit Commission was over and done with in just six minutes.

Minutes were approved. Comments were made about the next deputy testing for hiring. The date of future meetings was changed to the second Thursday of the month at 9:30AM (from 10:30AM).

There were two visitors from the State's Attorney's office. Michael Combs, head of the criminal side of things, and Jana (sorry not to have gotten her last name) was there from the civil side. They were there to observe. Maybe they were expecting an Executive Session and the topic of Greg Pyle to come up.

No executive session was held. Many thanks are not due to Sheriff Nygren for doling out another $7,000 to his Sgt. Pyle, who continues on paid administrative leave.

Sheriff's Dept. employee Donald Leist blew into the room as if he owned the place and promptly took a seat at the Commissioners' table and helped himself to coffee. Chairperson Janelle Crowley apparently has no objection to Leist's sitting at the table that is, by common practice, reserved for Commissioners.

Leist is not a Commissioner. At these meetings and at the Sheriff's Department he does not function as an attorney. He is a common-law employee of the Sheriff's Department and McHenry County, and he belongs in a chair against the wall of the conference room, not at the table.

Why is it that none of the other Commissioners raises this issue?

The two attorneys from the State's Attorney's office did honor the Commissioners' table and took seats along the wall. That's where all non-Commission members sit, until they are invited to the table for a limited amount of time for a given matter before the Commission. Then they should leave the table and return to visitor seating.

As a courtesy to the Commissioners I informed them that I would be recording the meeting and might take photographs. I actually did not need to to do that, since the Illinois Open Meetings Act allows both recording and photography.

When you visit around to other boards and commissions of McHenry County, notice who sits at the board or commission table and who doesn't. Next time you see Don Leist, you might ask him why he presumes to plop himself down at the Merit Commission table as if he is one of them. He's not; he works for the Sheriff. That's all. Not even as an attorney. His job at the sheriff's department does not require a law degree.

Remember, it's the State's Attorney who is the Sheriff's attorney, except for the hundreds of thousands of dollars of legal fees the sheriff sends outside McHenry County to private law firms.

No comments: