Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Sheriff's Merit Comm. meeting - canceled (again)

The August 9th meeting of the McHenry County Sheriff's Department Merit Commission meeting has already been canceled. Today is just August 1, but the sheriff apparently does not intend to take the matter of Sgt. Pyle's paid administrative leave to the Commission in August.

This means, in effect, that Pyle collects another $7,000 in pay, while he continues on paid status after his felony arrest in January.

It also means that the Merit Commission will not discuss the complaint filed with the Illinois Attorney General's Public Access Counselor (PAC) over the Commission chairman's (chairperson's) prohibition against non-disruptive photography at the June meeting. On June 25th the PAC wrote to Janelle Crowley, Commissioner of the Merit Commission (she happens to be the long-time chairperson) and advised her that "further inquiry is warranted" and that the Commission had seven working days after receipt of that letter to respond.

I received my copy of the June 25th letter on June 28th. Perhaps the Commissioner received her copy also on June 28th. That put the deadline at July 10 for the Commissioner's response to be mailed to the PAC. The PAC should have received it by July 12.

Since Illinois Statutes allow photography during open meetings of public bodies, I imagine the Merit Commission will get its collective hands slapped for the second time. The first time was when they illegally held a monthly meeting by telephone, with no one present in the meeting room. All Commissioners were to complete training about the Open Meetings Act, but not one of the other commissioners challenged their chairperson about the legitimacy of her order to me not to take pictures.

Would they look like they weren't team players, if they stood up to her? Or would the sheriff get mad at them for respecting the laws of Illinois?

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