Reading that 2008 McHenry County State’s Attorney candidate Dan Regna, who lost big time to embattled State’s Attorney Lou Bianchi, intends to run for the office in 2012, made me think that readers might be interested in the process of replacing a county official.
Now, to talk about that process when Bianchi has given not even a tiny hint that he is considering following the Northwest Herald’s advice that he step down is certainly premature, but let’s lay out who has what power.
Any person appointed to replace any countywide officer would, first, have to a Republican.
That means Tom Cynor, Bianchi’s Democratic Party opponent and lawyer for 22nd District judges, isn’t eligible. Cynor got 38.2% of the fall vote.
McHenry County Board Chairman Ken Koehler would make the nomination, if the selection were to be made before December.
Newly elected county board members will be seated in December and, while Koehler has a Democratic Party opponent in the fall, Mark Booras, the only activity I have seen is his participation in the Lake in the Hills Fall Fest Parade.
So, assuming Koehler wins another term on the County Board and his colleagues elect him chairman again, he would nominate any replacement.
To be appointed, a majority on the County Board would have to vote to approve Koehler’s selection.
So, would Regna be the choice? After all he got 43.3% of the primary vote.
Regna, of course, was Sheriff Keith Nygren’s candidate against Bianchi and there are a number of county board members who seem to think there should be a State’s Attorney who would not be beholding to the Sheriff in the way that Regna would be.
Other names are being discussed. Perhaps foremost among them is Crystal Lake attorney Joe Gottemoller.
Others include former Bianchi top assistant, now Chief of the Civil Division, Tom Carroll. Carroll has been making the round of Republican fundraisers.
Demetri Tsilimigras, who heads up the prosecution of misdemeanors for Sttate’s Attorney’s Office has also been mentioned. He is a Republican Precinct Committeeman in Cary and on the leadership team of the Algonquin Township Republican Central Committee.
Others who might be interested include Wes Pribla, who ran in a Republican primary election against Bianchi predecessor Gary Pack and any number of other attorneys who would like to be the chief prosecutor of McHenry County.
But, as I said, it’s way premature to be doing anything but speculating. That’s because there is no indication that a trial will even be held before Bianchi’s term is up in the first week of December 2012.