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Zinke sign galls taxpayers

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

McHenry County, Illinois Emergency Services Vehicles

Zinke sign galls taxpayers

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
July 23, 2013

Undersheriff Andy ZinkePhoto Credit: McHenry County Blog
An open letter to Sheriff Keith Nygren and the McHenry County Board

At McHenry's Fiesta Days Parade, Undersheriff Andy Zinke again displayed his name on the side of a tax-supported, County-owned, McHenry County Sheriff's Department marked vehicle.

Zinke's magnetic sign reads "Andrew Zinke Undersheriff". Zinke is Nygren's handpicked, preferred successor to the Office of McHenry County Sheriff, with the race to be decided in November 2014.

I have called McHenry County Government to inquire whether there is an Inspector General for the County with authority to investigate, charge and prosecute Zinke for any offenses or crimes related to his application of a magnetic sticker to a County patrol vehicle.

If it is proper for him to display such a sign, then it ought to be on his vehicle 24/7 and not merely added before a parade and removed after. Of course, it's not proper. The newest additions to the MCSD fleet no longer even carry Nygren's name. Did he feel the heat and cease ordering his own name on Department vehicles?

My opinion is that this is a flagrant abuse of County, tax-supported property and that Zinke should be disciplined without further delay. His practice must stop.

When is the next parade? I'll be there to photograph the "proof" and file my own Ethics complaint.

Remember, the Ethics Commission meets Thursday, July 25, at 3:00PM at 667 Ware Road. Arrival early for the best seating. The Commission is to hear the complaint about Zinke's improper use of the County email system.

I have now learned that the correct public body for such complaints is the Ethics Commission. The media has reported that only three complaints have been filed since 2004, with one of them being Cal Skinner's recent complaint about Zinke's email use. If Zinke's use of County vehicles with his magnetic name sign continues, the Ethic Commission will soon get its fourth complaint.

No other MCSD employee operates a MCSD vehicle with his name on it.

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