Sunday, September 1, 2013

Good job, Judge Meyer!

I've been watching Pete Gonigam's case against Sheriff Nygren with great interest, and I commend Judge Meyer for holding a short leash on the antics being tried to drag it out.

I enjoyed a great laugh from afar last Tuesday, when co-defendant Don Leist, the sheriff's department EEO officer (and informal legal advisor to the sheriff and also former member of the Office of the McHenry County State's Attorney), asked for 30 days to pick his own lawyer.

Judge Meyer must have thrown away his "Continued-for-30-Days" rubber stamp, because he gave Leist three days and wanted everybody back in court on Friday, August 30.

Gonigam, publisher of, hasn't written about Friday's court, nor has Cal Skinner written about it on his McHenry County Blog. Online Court records indicate that Judge Meyer wants the "party" to continue on Thursday, September 5.

Gonigam did write about it on August 28.

What's is all about? The Sheriff's Department doesn't want to release its 100-page report of the "investigation" by Don Leist into Undersheriff Andy Zinke's huge mistake in revealing a confidential DEA investigation to Brian Goode. Leist decided that Zinke hadn't done anything wrong.

Gonigam had filed a FOIA Request with the Sheriff's Department, which was denied. Gonigam appealed to the Illinois Attorney General, and the Public Access Counselor told MCSD to release it. MCSD didn't.

The only recourse left to a requestor is to go to court. And so Gonigam did. Judge Meyer isn't going to let this drag out past the next election, plus he wanted the report submitted to him.

Let's hope that Gonigam, after he wins, goes after MCSD for his legal expenses. Is MCSD acting frivolously, in withholding the report? Is the "investigation" going to look like Swiss Cheese?

Was it conducted in as thorough a manner as the Feldkamp/Bloom deaths were? That got only 265 pages of reports. Was the conclusion reached in less than 24 hours, as it was in the Feldkamp/Bloom triple homicide in June 2011, and everything else was just report-writing?

Around MCSD, once a conclusion is reached, then everything else is just supporting blather. Did Leist start with the premise that Zinke was innocent and then work backwards from the end?

It's unfortunate that the Illinois Attorney General's Public Access Bureau doesn't have a full set of molars to sink into recalcitrant FOIA deniers. But this is Illinois...

NOTE: (3:29PM) I just learned that Friday's court date was postponed. I wonder what the reason was...


Sam said...

This roadshow at the MCSO reminds me of the Fonz on Happy Days. He couldn't say ra...ra...Wrong.

I'd be interested to see how they white wash this unprofessional act of disclosing investigative information to the owner of a company who was named in this DEA investigation. Ironically being the campaign manager and Merit Commission member.

BTW do you know what "White Wash" really is? It is really appropriate here. In livestock and dairy barns the inside walls got covered with dirt, dust and fecal matter that I'll just cut to the chase and call "BULL SHIT."

The farmer hired a company or sometimes did it themselves by taking LIME,adding water to make a thick solution which was then sprayed or sometime brushed over the dirty interiors. The entire inside had a white painted appearance but just covered up the 'filth' below.

It will take a lot of WHITE WASH to cover this load of SHIT.

Curious1 said...

I don't know which is more petty the silly notion that a senior officer needed approval from a lower ranked officer to bring in a witness...or the whining that an internal investigation should be released without proper legal representation for the county employees.

Pure political partisan silliness that is doing nothing to benefit the taxpayer but cost them money.

Gus said...

The premise that a lower-ranked officer's approval is needed for a senior officer to bring in a witness is so much in error that a complete book could be written. Such a statement is nothing but misdirection and deception; it diverts attention away from the facts.

Zinke was wrong to reveal to Goode that the DEA had uncovered drugs on a truck headed to RITA Corporation. Period.

Zinke wasn't "bringing in a witness". Where does anyone even get such a preposterous idea?

If Zinke thought Goode might be helpful, then he should have made an inquiry to the DEA Agent-in-Charge and let him decide.

The DEA Agent's verbal reaction, contained in court documents, says it all.

Further deception is foisted on the public by the sheriff's position in denying the FOIA Request of

There is nothing partisan in FEN's request.

Curious1 said...

We don't know what the DEA agent's actual reaction was. All we know is what a disgruntled 3rd party said. Hear say at best. To say we know what the DEA's opinion is guesswork at best, it is simply deceptive to pretend to know their stance as they have made no comment.

Even the the disgruntled employee stated that Zinke was bringing in Goode as a witness with evidence to meet with the DEA. It wasn't done in secret it was done with all involved being fully aware. All we know for sure is the lower ranked officer threw quite a tantrum about his superiors judgement call and made the investigation public. I suspect if the DEA had an issue they would be pursuing it.

Sam said...

Curious 1 is drinking the Kool-Aid of the entrenched status quo that hides the facts, punish those that want to remove politics form law enforcement and most importantly want honesty in law enforcement. He’s actually pedaling the Kool-Aid trying to get others to drink it.
YOU SAY “I don't know which is more petty the silly notion that a senior officer needed approval from a lower ranked officer to bring in a witness...or the whining that an internal investigation should be released without proper legal representation for the county employees. Pure political partisan silliness that is doing nothing to benefit the taxpayer but cost them money.”
Where can I begin? Why Zinke would get involved at all other than to warn Goode and run interference for what could be a problem for his main man. EVERYONE knows that the Sgt was caught between a rock and a hard place. If this was any other business person the call would never be made to Zinke. (The senior officer) Career survival dictated that Zinke be notified of this DEA investigation looking at a Rita connection. The Sergeant isn’t a dunce, he knew the Goode connection to Zinke. If the DEA wanted to bring Goode into the loop, that would have been THEIR call. No…. what did Andy do? Zinke just butted in and decided to Bogart this investigation and called his buddy. Rita is a big company and someone within the company could have been involved. NOBODY including myself is pointing a finger at Goode, but let the investigation play out.
The political silliness was when ZINKE for POLITICAL purposes called Goode. The Sergeant was not motivated by politics, it was solely job survival. It still blew up in his face. You call him (the Sgt) disgruntled. That is 100% wrong. He does not have a voice and has been effectively shut up by Zinke. He was never disgruntled. He was a valued Sgt running the drug unit. When Zinke made the call to Goode the Sergeants credibility with the DEA was as dead as was Zinke’s. They know that when the chips are down that the Sgt will chose career survival over letting an investigation runs its course. Zinke squelched the Sgt and punished him by taking him out of a drug command unit and back to patrol. Then he calls him disgruntled.
Zinke can shout disgruntled all day long. Sheep like Curious1 will come to his aid and say it was his discretion as a boss. The truth is that Zinke did it for political purposes and nothing more. I seriously doubt the integrity of a man that would stoop so low as to violate the trust of the DEA investigation to save possible embarrassment of his campaign.
The sad thing is Nygren and Zinke think these people work for THEM. They are employees of McHenry County. Nygren just happens to be the Sheriff and Zinke his appointed Undersheriff. The checks are signed by the COUNTY not by Keith. You must be loyal to the job and the county. If the Sheriff and Undersheriff want to play politics for personal gain, it should not be the deputies obligation to support them.

Mike said...

Today is a free day and reading blogs catching up.

CurrrrriousONE is a ZINKE poster or should I say poser. You continue to try and defend this act of misconduct. If it were any other company and another else did it, there would be a major investigation and head s would roll.

Anyone that would contribute to a man with this low a threshold for integrity isa foolish. I wouldn't want my name on his list of contributors.