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?


Curious1 said...

...and when he applied didn't he have answer on the application asking if he had ever been convicted of a crime? When he answered yes such a high level command position obviously an investigation around the circumstances around his criminal convictions had to have been done for vetting and basic due diligence...very interested to see who FOI request the copy of the reports done to vet the circumstances of his criminal convictions. Certainly just being a campaign supporter was not the full vetting process on these ugly criminal convictions, right?

Big Daddy said...

Matts a good man and will be an asset to Sheriff Prim in his efforts to make McHenry County safe. The residents of MC should be thankful that they have such an experienced and competent man like in the MCSO.

Curious1 said...

Big Daddy, can you give us a single example of a Police commander with such a criminal conviction record? Seems like in the name of political payback we have set a new national low bar for other politico's trying to masquerade as law enforcement to only dream of stooping to.

Big Daddy said...

No I cannot as I don't keep track of that. What I can say is what I've already said. Matt's a good man and an asset to McHenry County Sheriffs Office.