Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Where is my AR-15?

Ever wonder where your gun is?

Has this hit the local news yet?


A Lake County Sheriff's sergeant put his bag containing the Department's AR-15 on the trunk of his car and drove off. The bag (with the AR-15) fell off into the roadway, where Eric Koehler found it  - and turned it in.

Tell me this is not true ...

Monday, January 26, 2015

Hiring the best qualified?

The following comment was submitted to another article. It is significant enough, to me, to be read by many, not just those who might find it at the other article.

"As for the "vetting". I think that is the part that scares me the most. Their is a constant stream of implications that an agency like the Secret Service gave him (McNamara) some type of "green Light" certification and/or clearance. Yet beyond implying it they won't say specifically what agency or what clearance. Yet (MCSD Jail and General Office/Administration Chief David) Devane seemed to refer to some yet to be known agencies "green light" certification as his justification for ignoring the documented criminal conduct. Something stinks bad about the whole thing. I fear the only vetting he got before he jumped ahead of qualified long term Deputies and supervisors is his work in the campaign. Very ugly and potentially dangerous cronyism."

I believe that Sheriff Prim owes it to the People of McHenry County to clarify why he hired a man with two serious convictions as his new Deputy Chief of Patrol, skipping over many who may be just as qualified and who do not drag the burden of two serious convictions.

The Northwest Herald is apparently blinking on this hire. FirstElectricNewspaper seems to be done with it and cut off further comments. McHenry County Blog has been silent. The Chicago Tribune has yet to weigh in.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Deputy chief - not merited position?

A reader informed me today that he thought the deputy chief of patrol position (presently occupied by Matt McNamara, was not a merited position.

Apart from the double entendre here, the point that he was making was that he thought the position of "deputy chief" was an appointed position.

While that's true, the position is commonly bestowed on a deputy from the ranks; ex., John Miller was Commander of Patrol Division. My understanding is that there is no employment position of Commander. I believe Miller was a Lieutenant and, when Nygren put him in charge of Patrol, Miller was given the "title" of Commander. (By the way, what's his position now?)

We know that Andy Zinke left the Department (and left a mess in the sally port by his squad car), rather than face the humiliation of a "demotion" and re-assignment. Where is Zinke now? Did he really land a job somewhere?

However, the message from this reader got me to thinking not only about how McNamara got a job and got started so quickly, but what about David Devane, Ricardo Pagán and Sandra Salgado?

What is the policy of McHenry County Government for hiring new employees? Are positions supposed to be advertised, in order to attract the candidates with the highest qualifications? Or can a hiring manager just point his finger and say "That's my guy"?

The Sheriff might be able to hire about anyone he wants but, because that employee has the potential to bring risk to the County, does the County get a say in the matter?

Will the County Board flex its muscles and demand some straight answers? Or will it (they) just roll over and cross their fingers?

Has anyone seen even one word on the McHenry County Blog about Prim's putting on his new hat as King and annointing his friend and political supporter, Matt McNamara, with a new job? What do you suppose McNamara's pay is? $100,000/year?

Thursday, January 22, 2015

FEN shuts off McNamara comments

First Electric Newspaper shut off comments, just after noon today, to its article about the hiring of Matt McNamara by Sheriff Prim.

I posted a comment yesterday, and Pete Gonigam removed it. It wasn't a harshly written comment, but it was pointed.

Today there are comments similar to mine; i.e., about the "vetting" of claims related to Matt, whether he provided security services for a government "official" and other questions. Pete has allowed those comments but, for some strange reason, he deleted mine. Perhaps because I posted by my name, rather than as Anonymous.

I posted this comment today at 10:45AM, and he removed it, too.

"Anonymous wrote at 9:27AM, 'Since Mr. McNamara was vetted before he was hired as security for federal and state officials, it certainly should be good enough for McHenry County.'

"No, I don't think so. Was McNamara was ever hired as security for a federal or state OFFICIAL? Or was he only hired by a candidate for office? Understand the difference?"

John Lovaas had some comments, which you might want to read on the FEN site. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

McNamara - rapid hiring - how so?

How did Matt McNamara get hired so quickly? And into a supervisory role?

According to the Northwest Herald article, Matt McNamara has been hired as Deputy Chief of Patrol at the McHenry County Sheriff's Department. He apparently started on Monday, January 19, 2015.

How did he get hired so quickly? There is a hiring process in place, and certain parts of it are out of the hands of the Sheriff. Actually, out of the hands of any sheriff in Illinois. And that includes Sheriff Bill Prim, who only took office on December 1, 2014.

Whether or not McNamara should have been hired at all is highly questionable. He was convicted of assault in a bar fight in Iowa. What does that say about a person, any person? Is there an anger management problem? How has it been addressed?

Then he was convicted of a DUI in 2012 in Jerome, Arizona. In that traffic stop he lied to the police officer, saying that he was a Chicago Police officer. I'd say that Matt is lucky - really, really, really lucky - that he did not get criminally charged with that offense. And that is a serious, serious crime. And it shows a moral slip worse than the assault and the DUI.

Now comes Sheriff Bill Prim, who hires McNamara. What kind of background check was done? How was McNamara's alcohol use since 2012 evaluated? Was there a drug test before McNamara was hired?

But how did McNamara even get hired? There is a little thing called the Merit Commission that, legally, is to play a role in the hiring process. Did it?

The five-man commission is a man short. According to the Sheriff's Department website, the five-man commission is down to four. Brian Goode is no longer listed as a Merit Commission member. You'll recognize that name from the investigation of former Undersheriff Andy Zinke, who leaked confidential about a confidential DEA investigation. When did he leave the Commission? November 30th?

There is a pesky, little matter called the Illlinois Statutes and a section about how the Merit Commission operates. It's not supposed to be just a little tea party of five friends of the Sheriff. The Merit Commission is a public body of the McHenry County Board. For your late-night reading enjoyment you might try 55 ILCS 5/ about Counties Code.

Check out Section 5/3-8007. When was McNamara certified by the Merit Commission, so that he'd be in the pool of eligible candidates for consideration of hiring? You can check the Minutes of the Merit Commission for the December and January meetings for any action by them; i.e., if there were even any Merit Commission in December or January.

Did local media fall asleep at the switch and not monitor the meetings or, at least, the Minutes? Save your time; the January 8th meeting was canceled. There should have been a December 2014 meeting on the Calendar, but it didn't even make it onto the schedule (not even as canceled).

The legislature threw a bone to the Sheriff and may let him hire "chief deputies" without the blessing of the Merit Commission. Did the McHenry County Board exempt his hiring (quietly?) by Resolution at a December or January meeting?

From Section 55 ILCS 5/3-8010: Certification of applicants. The appointment of all personnel subject to the jurisdiction of the Merit Commission shall be made by the sheriff from those application who have been certified by the Commission as being qualified for appointment. When did the Commission certify McNamara? Did it?

So how did Matt apply and so quickly fly past all the other highly-qualified applicants for employment at the Sheriff's Department? Were there any significant shortcuts?

Prim destroys own credibility

It didn't take Bill Prim long to destroy his credibility as McHenry County Sheriff.

Prim took office on December 1, 2014, and on January 20 the Northwest Herald published an article that Prim had "given a supervisory position to a man whose criminal background became a target during Prim's bid for sheriff."

During the 2014 campaign for sheriff, it came out that Matt McNamara had been arrested in Jerome, Arizona for DUI. At the time he lied to the police officer, saying he was a Chicago PD officer. He wasn't.

And he was arrested and convicted in Iowa for an 2001assault during a bar fight.

The disdain and utter contempt for the public is displayed in the statements by David Devane, newly employed at the sheriff's department as one of Prim's so-called leaders. Said he to the Northwest Herald, "This whole issue of his (McNamara's) background was very thoroughly - almost nauseatingly - aired throughout the campaign." 

"Almost nauseatingly"? And this is a guy that Prim "allowed" to speak for him? Why didn't Prim stand up for himself???

What kind of dumb statement is that? It was properly raised!

And didn't McNamara work for the same department as Prim back in the 1990s? What were the circumstances surrounding his departure from that department?

Some people were curious why I didn't support Prim. I didn't trust him; that's why.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Last book you read?

What's the title of the last book you read?

Mark Twain (1835-1910) said, "The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage of the man who can't read them."

I just read David & Goliath, by Malcolm Gladwell. Gladwell also wrote The Tipping Point and Blink. And two others. And probably many articles.

What have you read recently?

National Popcorn Day

Did you miss it? Almost miss it? It's not too late.

Today, Monday, January 19, is National Popcorn Day.

So break out the Act II or Orville R. and enjoy a movie tonight with popcorn!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Who makes law in the U.S.?

                                                        Rep. Trey Gowdy

Who makes U.S. law?

Can the President refuse to enforce law properly passed? Can the President be selective about what parts of laws he enforces and what parts he denies?

Watch Rep. Gowdy make his remarks to the House in May 2014. This is worth your five minutes.

Check out other messages from U.S. Representative Trey Gowdy (S.C. - 4th District (Greenville, Spartanburg, S.C.)) on YouTube.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

New job soon

I had to give my daughter the sad news today that I intended to quit working in her office here in Columbia, South Carolina. I received an email this morning that the Border Patrol is hiring!

The requirements?
  • Submit application prior to 37th birthday (waiver for qualified veterans)
  • Be a U.S. citizen and a resident for at least the past three years
  • Have a valid state driver’s license
  • Pass a thorough background investigation, polygraph test, medical examination, fitness test and drug test
  • Qualify for and carry a firearm
I can meet all of those. I submitted an application when  I was 24.

After taking the written test, I was invited to an oral interview. Two agents told me they just had one written. I had scored 99 on the 100-point written test, and they wanted to know which question I had missed! The test was a snap for me, because it was 50% law-enforcement questions and 50% using a mock language. I was a Russian language major and had studied Latin and German, so language tests were not hard for me.

Hmmm, I wonder what the fitness test involves...

OK, who wants to be a reference for me?

Monday, January 12, 2015

CNN.com headline: "White House admits mistake..."

The headline on CNN.com right now is "Should've been there" and right below it is "White House admits mistake on Paris rally".

Writes CNN reporter Eric Bradner, "The Obama administration admitted today that it erred by failing to have a high-profile representative join Sunday's unity march in Paris attended by more than 40 world leaders."

Of course, a high-profile, U.S. representative should have been at Sunday's march.

When are THE PEOPLE in this country going to get loud about the incompetent ninny in the White House? He can send three (albeit, low-profile) bureaucrats and that idiot Eric Holder to Ferguson, Mo., after a strong-arm robber gets shot for taking a swing at a cop and then rushing him, but Obama can't think big enough to order somebody to show up in Paris.

Maybe Obama didn't want to personally incur the wrath of the Muslim world. You think? I hope somebody will remind him that he is supposed to act like an American who respects freedom and is ready to stare down terrorists. Instead, he comes across as a weak follower, ready to surrender the U.S.A. to sharia law.

Well, Obama, it ain't going to happen!

Nygren v. FOP

Does anyone know why Keith Nygren took a parting shot at the FOP, shortly being his reign (of (No, I'm not going to say it)) ended?

With my limited access to McHenry County Circuit Court online records, I cannot determine whether this case was filed by Nygren personally or by him in his official capacity as Sheriff. The Plaintiff's (Nygren and the County of McHenry County) attorney is Ericka Thomas. Who is she?

If McHenry County is a Plaintiff, why isn't the attorney the Office of the State's Attorney?

The Defendants are the FOP, Anthony Sciarrone and Scott Webster.

Anyone have information to share?

CASE ID 14CH000929
STATUS DATE 08/29/2014
FILING DATE 08/29/2014

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Guilty? Prove it!

You are presumed innocent until proven guilty. Right?

A reader sent me this photo of billboard advertising by a Greensboro, N.C. attorney.

There are probably a couple of good defenses for the guilty.

1. "The Devil made me do it."

2. A witness might be too scared to show up in court.

3. The paperwork got lost. (I lost a DUI case in a Colorado court one time, when the videotape disappeared somewhere between the police department and the court. The sharp defense attorney (the driver had five prior DUIs) claimed that "Of course, it disappeared; it showed the driver wasn't drunk) and the judge bought the argument.

4. They can't find the body.

Many lawyers will say that they don't want to know whether their client "did" it. They will be very careful not to ask and not to let the client admit, even to them in the safety of their office, that he "did" it.  A case isn't about whether the defendant is guilty; it's about whether the prosecution can prove to a jury or jury that the defendant did it.

Let military carry firearms off-post

Does the Israeli army have the right idea?

When I first saw this picture, the women were identified, generally, as Israeli soldiers. If anyone has more accuracy about the country, please comment.

You equip and train your soldiers to understand firearms handling and safety, and then you let them (or direct them) to carry their rifles with them.

Where would this work in the U.S.? Anywhere that people care about other people, law & order, protection against criminals and jihadists, foreign terrorists, domestic terrorists. Think street crime would drop? Would robberies and assaults on the CTA and the 'L' drop?

There was at one time talk (what good is "talk"?) about posting the Illinois State Police in the war zones in Chicago. You'd need 50 troopers, not 2-3. Give them a neighborhood to reclaim. Start with one block. Get acquainted with every household. Provide safety and assurances, plus a network to keep the neighborhood safe after the troopers leave.

When the gangbanger or drug dealer refuses to come to the door, just write down the address and file it away for "special attention". Can you hear the screams already from Rahm Emanuel, Dan Kotowski, Kwame Raoul and Elaine Nekritz?

In South Carolina there is a movement underway to allow, perhaps even require, firearms training in the schools. Imagine that!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Mary McClellan makes news (and probably wishes otherwise)

A must-read article in the Chicago Tribune.

On January 10th the Chicago Tribune reported that the Cook County State's Attorney Office was sanctioned by Federal Judge John F. Grady.

It seems they couldn't find some records in a case against Chicago Police. Yet, once he got judicial access to search for the records, Attorney Jared Kosoglad later said it took him about 15 minutes to find the 2008 files, which had been misfiled among 2010 records.

Where does Mary McClellan enter the picture? She was an Assistant State's Attorney on part of the case. And where is she now? McClellan was elected McHenry County Clerk in November 2014 and took office on December 1.

According to the Tribune article, "Mary McClellan, an assistant state’s attorney who represented the office for a portion of the case, was also sanctioned by Grady for 'recklessly adhering to the position' in court that the misdemeanor case files did not exist."

If you are interested in trying to understand what led to the sanctions, read the Chicago Tribune article.

Many thanks to the reader who tipped me on the article.

Military personnel - denied 2A rights?

Why are our military personnel denied their Second Amendment rights?

As I understand it, firearms cannot be carried onto military installations. I live right near Fort Jackson, in Columbia, S.C. If I have business on the post, I must leave my firearm at home. I cannot just put it in the trunk or glove compartment of my vehicle.

We train our military in firearms handling and use. We do still do that, don't we? So, why don't we arm them and tell them they can carry 24/7, concealed or openly? I'd be happy to see Army men and women packing around town.

Issue a sidearm, holster, web belt, and green-light them by national law to carry openly in uniform or concealed, when they are off-post.

What will happen to the crime rate, when the military is out shopping with their sidearms? Think somebody is likely to bust into a newspaper office here, if he is worried about the firepower that might be outside waiting for him. While the brothers in Paris wouldn't have been worried about it, their bodies would have objected to the delivery of lead poisoning when they ran out of the building.

Are we (all of us) approaching the day when we will have to defend ourselves, defend the innocent and protect this country?

How are the cops trained to discern the good guys with guns vs. the "bad guys" with guns? Are they? I'd like to know that the training that cops receive includes the question, "Could this be an armed citizen who is here to help?

If you are that armed citizen who is there to help, remember that the cop is not going to know that. He is going to see a person with a gun and, understanding, believe this person is or can be a threat to him or to the public. Part of your own preparedness must include how you will respond to the arrival of law enforcement. And whether they will want your continued assistance.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Own a Lenovo laptop?

Thanks to the Woodstock Fire & Rescue District's website, I learned of a power cord recall on my Lenovo laptop that I purchased three years ago. The recall was announced on December 9, 2014.

Only the power cord is affected, not the adapter itself. But, if your computer has this power cord, you'll want to order a free replacement now.

Visit http://support.lenovo.com/us/en/powercord2014 for a list of affected cords.

Friday, January 2, 2015

New restaurant - Woodstock?

Here's a terrific idea for a new restaurant on Main Street in Woodstock. How about a carbon copy of Shooter's Grill, located in Rifle, Colorado?

You can get the whole story right on this video. I went through Rifle in September 2013, before I learned about Shooters Grill. After visiting my sister in Carbondale, Colorado, I headed west, driving a Woodstock friend's car to his new residence near San Jose, California. I left I-70 at Rifle for two-lane roadways to Salt Lake City and, although I remembered the town from the days I lived in Colorado (1970-1986), I wasn't checking storefronts as I passed through.

Colorado seems to have open-carry laws as well as concealed carry. Interestingly enough, Colorado does not honor a South Carolina resident's concealed carry license. And it doesn't honor a Utah or Florida non-resident concealed carry license. Now I'll have to find out if Colorado's open-carry law is for all, or just for Colorado residents.

This is one more fine example of the patchwork quilt of firearms laws in the USA. Wouldn't it be nice to have one national law that was honored in all states, like your driver's license?

I'm reminded of a summer afternoon in Santa Fe, when a man wearing buckskins and carrying a rifle was walking around, passing out flyers for a new restaurant. His pitch?

"Good food. Great prices. Same-day service."