First McHenry County Sheriff’s Deputy Bob Schlenkert was fired by Sheriff Keith Nygren and sued for reinstatement.
He won in Appellate Court, but Nygren stalled for months and months before authorizing payment of the back pay ordered paid.
Next came Zane Seipler, who won reinstatement from
Still, probably because former GOP primary opponent Seipler has been such a pain in the butt to Nygren, the Sheriff is appealing the unanimous Appellate Court decision to the Illinois Supreme Court.
In the meantime, Deputy Sheriff Scott Milliman was put on administrative leave after his name and story surfaced on McHenry County Blog (see below for links to stories) in Seipler’s wrongful termination suit.
And he was fired in August.
Now, it’s Milliman’s turn to go on the offensive.
He has sued
- McHenry County (read us taxpayers),
- Sheriff Keith Nygren,
- Undersheriff Andrew J. Zinke,
- Commander John L. Miller,
- Bryan Krause,
- Sgt. Steven Schmitt and
- Lt. Ken Nielson
Why?Milliman explains that he testified in a deposition in Seipler’s wrongful termination suit on November 23, 2010, about
- Excessive force used by McHenry County Deputy Sheriffs
- Retaliation suffered by Milliman and other deputy sheriffs for reporting unlawful conduct of other deputy sheriffs
- Allegations that Nygren was directly involved in ticket fixing in McHenry County
- Nygren’s acceptance of bribes intended to influence his actions as Sheriff
- Nygren’s involvement in a scheme to fraudulently procure SBA loans for individuals and share in the proceeds of the loans knowing that the loans were going to default
- Milliman’s cooperation with the FBI investigation into corruption in McHenry County
- Evidence of racial profiling by McHenry County Deputy Sheriffs
- General corruption within the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office
The Northwest Herald may have gotten a copy of the transcript, an unradacted copy of which was denied others, including McHenry County Blog, but Milliman’s summary above will give you an idea of its explosive contents.
Indeed there is information included above which was not revealed in the NW Herald article.
Milliman claims that Nygren put him on administrative leave in retaliation to what he said in the Seipler deposition. In addition, Milliman was forced to undergo psychological testing. Milliman says that Miller provided false information to the psychologist “to influence the outcome of the testing.”
In addition, in violation of a Federal Court Order mandating secrecy of depositions, “Miller and Nygren” provide the evaluator a copy of it.
“Immediately prior to the deposition,”Milliman asserts that “Krause took away Milliman’s squad car and replaced it with an old, unsafe, dysfunctional squad car” in order “to intimidate him and influence his testimony.”
Milliman outlines April 4th and April 18th retrieval of his law enforcement equipment and personal items, the latter “in order to create a pretext for his termination.”
May 5th Milliman filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Then, Zinke entered the picture:
“In early August of 2011 defendant Zinke met with Milliman and told him that his deposition testimony had violated the general orders of the Sheriff’s Department and that he would be seeking Milliman’s termination.”
And, on August 17th, he was fired. Milliman contends it was “in retaliation for Milliman’s deposition testimony, EEOC charges and association with Zane Seipler.”
Milliman states he has lost wages and suffered other economic loss and has suffered and continues to suffer extreme mental anguish, embarrassment and emotional distress.
Milliman contends his First Amendment Rights of Freedom of Speech and Association have been violated.
He says what he said “constitute(s) speech on matters of public concern” and that it resulted in retaliation, resulting in hia having “suffered a chilling effect upon the exercise of his constitutional right of freedom of speech.”
But that’s not all.
There is also a third count entitled,
CIVIL CONSPIRACY – State Law Claim
Milliman claims, “..defendants Nygren, Miller, Krause, Schmitt and Nielson intentionally worked together for the common plan and purpose of harming the plaintiff as described above, and otherwise injure him.”
The suit says, the individuals’ “actions were willful, wanton, intentional and malicious” and, because of that asks for punitive damages.
A final count points out that McHenry County is required to pay any judgment.
What’s Milliman want?
- “A preliminary and permanent injunction restraining the defendants from continuing to violate the constitutional rights of the plaintiff including reinstatement to his position as a Deputy Sheriff
- ”Judgment for compensatory damages in favor of the plaintiff and against the defendants in an amount in excess of Fifty Thousand Dollars ($50,000.00)
- “Judgment for punitive damages in favor of the plaintiff and against the individual defendants in an amount to be determined by the jury”
- Attorney’s fees.
The only good news is that the County has a stop-loss arrangement with its insurance carrier which “only” requires taxpayers to absorb the first $100,000 of legal fees.
You can read the entire case here.
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Links to the articles containing the entire 10,000+ word transcript from December 15th can be found here.
Other articles that might be of interest: