Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Liest talked in court? How about Contempt?

Today I read Friday's article in FirstElectricNewspaper (FEN) about the last hearing (not the "last" one; just the most recent one) in the case in which Pete Gonigam is trying to beat a report out of the McHenry County Sheriff's Department (MCSD).

Pete wants the report (heck, so do Cal and I and probably the Chicago Tribune and the Sun-Times and the Daily Herald (some think the Northwest Herald already has it)) which found that Undersheriff Andy Zinke hadn't done anything wrong when he revealed a confidential DEA investigation to political contributor Brian Goode, President of RITA Corporation in Crystal Lake. It seems that at least one truck containing a significant amount of illegal drugs was in Texas and headed for RITA. Supposedly Nygren asked Don Leist to "investigate". You know what that means; right?

FEN filed a FOIA request.
MCSD denied it.
FEN filed a Request for Review with the Public Access Counselor (PAC) of the Illinois Attorney General Office.
The PAC told MCSD to give it to FEN.
MCSD refused.
FEN filed suit in McHenry County Circuit Court to force MCSD to release the report.

The "dance" in court has now been going on since June 18, 2013. That's only six months - seems longer. Maybe because FEN filed its FOIA request months earlier.

A while back, Judge Meyer told the sheriff's in-house lawyer (err, I mean Equal Employment Opportunity Officer and Legal Affairs Officer (since legally, the lawyer for the Sheriff is the State's Attorney)) that he could stand at the bench and observe, but he couldn't talk.

Leist must have short-term memory loss, because last Thursday Leist just couldn't bite his tongue any longer. The lips parted; breath was drawn in; words came out.

Judge Meyer cut him off. FEN's lawyer, Mary Gardner, brought up that Judge Meyer had muzzled Leist and that Leist was supposed to be only a (silent) observer. Should Judge Meyer have told Leist to go and sit in the corner until he could follow directions? Or maybe 24 hours' in the Nygren Hotel for contempt?

The music at the dance has stopped for more than a month, and Judge Meyer won't see them again until January 29.

My opinion? Nygren will do anything and everything to keep that report out of sight until after the March 18th primary. That's only 48 days after the January 29th court date. Surely, Nygren and Leist will figure out how to stall another 1½ months.

After March 18th it really won't matter much. If Zinke loses in the Primary, he'll be unemployed on Dec. 2, 2014. If he wins the Primary, there will be an late snowfall in McHenry County and thwill be buried forever.


Curious1 said...

I am a bit curious why you believe Zinke will be unemployed in December if he loses the election. He is not an elected official but a long time employee.

Historically,Many a County employee have run for Sheriff lost an election and stayed on without being fired for revenge. Do you have inside knowledge of a proactive plan to seek reprisals against county employees that don't support Prim?

Gus said...

Curious1, I not only do NOT have inside knowledge of any such plan, I don't have knowledge of ANY plans being made by Bill Prim.

I believe there will be no reprisals against employees who don't support him. If they do their jobs, they'll keep their jobs.

How far back in history are you going to ignore reprisals and revenge? Don't go too far. Don't forget reprisals against Seipler.

I'm sure Bill will keep competent employees. Bill might not even fire an incompetent employee. He could assign him to count cans of oil on the shelf at the garage or wash windows on squad cars.