Friday, April 13, 2012

MCSD - who is running it?

MCSD - McHenry County Sheriff's Department. Who is running the place?

Voters re-elected Keith Nygren on November 2, 2010. He was sworn in (again) on December 1, 2010, for a four-year term - most likely, his last. In fact, his #2 (or is it his #1), the Undersheriff, Andy Zinke, has already announced that he will be a candidate in the November 2014 General Election for Sheriff of McHenry County.

I hear this has caused quite a bit of consternation within the ranks at the Department. Is Zinke maybe not too popular?

The question is, who is running MCSD? Voters elected Nygren, who gets paid about $145,000 annually, plus benefits and perks, even a stipend for something or another. You can see that "stipend" in public pay records. Why would a highly-paid, elected officeholder get a "stipend"?

At $145,000/year, that's over $12,000/month. At 20 work days a month, that's $600/day. For an 8-hour day, that's $75.00/hour. That's for full-time work. Now, if the sheriff doesn't show up on many days or takes excessive vacation, his daily rate goes up.

When is the last time anybody saw Keith Nygren at his desk for an 8-hour day?

If a real reporter (maybe Bob McCoppin or Amanda Marrazzo from the Chicago Tribune) could catch Nygren at his desk, maybe he'd ask him why he hasn't taken further administrative action against Sgt. Greg Pyle, a MCSD deputy accused early in January on ten counts of Predatory Criminal Sexual Assault on a Child (under Age 13) over a four-year period. Why hasn't Nygren put Pyle on unpaid administrative leave or just plain fired him?

And, if Nygren can't be reached on his cell phone at his Minocqua (Wisc.) or Cape Coral (Fla.) homes, why doesn't Zinke, if he is in charge while the cat's away, take action on Pyle? Has he been told not to?

Must Zinke get permission before he can do anything? Is that why he earns $115,-120,000/year for wearing the Undersheriff badge? To what extent is Zinke a stand-up, independent, own-decision-making type of guy, when he is in charge?

Well, take a look at the mailing address for Zinke's own political campaign. It "just happens" to be the same address as one of Nygren's best political financial supporters and one of five hand-picked members of the McHenry County Sheriff's Department Merit Commission.

One would hope that those five County residents would support any request from Nygren (or Zinke) to cut off Pyle's pay, but that request has to first come from the Sheriff. And in three months it has not.

You'll notice that press releases from the Sheriff's Department bear the typewritten name of Keith Nygren but no signature. For a while, someone was signing Nygren's name. It was impossible to know "who", since no initials of an authorized signer were affixed. Now you can't tell who wrote, approved or released a press release. If Keith were in his office, he'd sign them or direct someone else to.

So, where is Keith Nygren?

When was the last time a reporter tried to get a comment out of him about any of the "seven" lawsuits against the Sheriff's Department that are being defended by the State's Attorney? And only seven? Let's see, Seipler, Milliman, Pavlin, Maxson; Rajchel; who are the other plaintiffs?

Or how much the County has spent on outside law firms (ex., Law Firm of James G. Sotos) because the Sheriff doesn't like Lou Bianchi?


Gus said...

From a reader: Undersheriff Zinke is paid $136,021/year.

The reader also offered that the McHenry County Sheriff's Department pays its deputies "much less" than is earned by officers of local city police, Lake County deputies and Illinois State Police troopers.

What does the McHenry County Undersheriff really do on a day-to-day basis?

Anonymous said...

Grayslake Police Chef is at $130k... until his formal demse for wrecking 2 weeks ago while DUIing and havign ahis loaded pistola in belt. DOH.