Greg Pyle Still on Sheriff’s Department Payroll

Greg Pyle

The first story about McHenry County Sheriff’s Sergeant Greg Pyle’s arrest on ten counts of Predatory Criminal Sexual Assault ran in McHenry County Blog on January 8th.  Links to various stories can be found here.

Since it’s been a couple of months, I decided to see what’s happening

February 23rd, McHenry County Blog reported that Pyle had been indicted by a Grand Jury.

With that having occurred, I wondered if he was still being paid.

The answer turns out to be “Yes.”

Here’s what I received in response to a Freedom of Information request:

“Sgt. Greg Pyle’s Gross Wages since inception of Administrative Leave until March 2nd was $11,550.”

Pyle went on administrative leave on January 9th.

I also requested “documents explaining why Pyle is still on the payroll.”

The FOI Office for the Sheriff’s Department replied,

“We do not have any document(s) that would supply an answer to your question in the second part of your request.”


Greg Pyle Still on Sheriff’s Department Payroll — 13 Comments

  1. I’d like to see the candidates for County Board weigh in on this and make an issue out of it.

    The first guy accountable is Chairman Conflictofinterest.

    Gaffney, Wheeler, Surges…somebody make political hay out of this.

    Any kind of hay to bring about a change that should be made.



  2. Looks like Nygren has a big play ground . . . . is recess over yet????

  3. This is not a Nygren decision or a McHenry Co decision; it is based upon public employee law.

    Until PYLE is convicted, and I’m sure he will be, he can not be subject to without pay status which would summarily be punishment.

    Like it or not, employee law prevents agencies from yanking the pay of those accused of crimes.

    He also can not be interviewed subject to an internal investigation due to his pending criminal case.

    Doing such would jeopardize his Fifth Amendment rights and also goes counter to other disciplinary act issues.

    Rather than risk the criminal charges being thrown out, he must remain on paid status.

    Nygren could ask he be placed on unpaid status, but there are legal precedents which say that doing so prejudices the case and economic award have been issued for denial of pay.

    The Chicago cop that beat the snot out of that bartender was on pay status right up to the day he was fired and that was AFTER the guilty plea.

    FYI…get a copy of the department flow chart and you’ll see that with the exception of a couple specialty units, there are far more than 2-3 employees per supervisor especially on patrol.

    Not all supervisors are scheduled to work on the same days; so if the shift shows THREE Sgt’s, only two would be working and one off.

    Add in vacation and personal time off and often it is only ONE supervisor running an entire shift.

    You sound sour grapes.

  4. He can be fired just like the good guys were.

    The Merit Commission that never meets can handle and suggest firing.

    Nygren takes care of his own.

    Justin, you are full of it.

    The dept. IS TOP HEAVY.

    So many of the Supervisors are people involved in problem for the dept. law suits.

    Pyle is up to his ears in the Pavlin case along with some more of the jerks Nygren hires and promotes.
    Justin (of many names) you were always one of the Lou bashers.

    You still lost the election.

  5. Oh Justin, if you only knew how things work around 2200 N. Seminary.

    Everything you said is well and good but that ain’t how it works at MCSD.

    Ask Seipler.

    Ask Milliman.

    Neither of those guys were accused of raping a child.

    They were never charged criminally and yet they were fired.

    And yes they can do an internal investigation.

    They have conducted internals and criminals in parallel.

    TRUST ME!!!

    They can do anything they want.

    Nygren don’t give a rat’s arse about public employee law.

    Just ask the FOP.

    Do you know that Nygren has fired several people over the years who have fought their termination.

    He has NEVER won.

    Public Employee Law means nothing to him. What he does care about is PYLE.

    He’s one of his boys.

  6. Is the public aware of what Sgt. Pyle’s specific duties were at the Department?

    He was in charge of evidence.

    That means that he had some sort of contact with almost every piece of criminal evidence that entered the department.

    Zinke was at one time in charge of evidence.

    Nygren specifically stated that Zinke had his hands in everything and that is why Nygren chose him as Undersheriff.

    Pyle had his hands in everything too.

    Imagine if this was a normal county and the local lawyers weren’t part of the problem.

    Every conviction that Bianchi’s office prosecuted where Pyle had access to the evidence is now tainted.

    Lawyers could have a field day with appeal motions. But the is the McHenry County.

    Everyone plays for the same team.

  7. Justin,

    You are a bit off.

    Public employee law does not forbid government from interviewing Pyle.

    MCSO is not the investigating body here-I thought ISP was (as it should be to prevent a conflict of interest).

    Under public employee law (see Garrity Rights), MCSO can (and I would say should) conduct a separate, administrative internal investigation into Pyle’s conduct.

    Pyle could be compelled to testify and ordered to answer each and every question (which would exclude the answers from being used in the criminal case).

    There are Due Process considerations because Pyle is employed by a government body and any sanction taken against him must be Constitutionally sound.

    Now, I would argue that Pyle’s indictment would be a substantial step towards civilly proving his “guilt”-(since that is the burden for termination-even for a union protected employee) and enough to move him to non-compensated status.

  8. There is one reason why Pyle is still on the payroll. It’s spelled N-y-g-r-e-n.

    Nygren could have put Pyle on unpaid administrative leave the day after he was charged and could have immediately called a Special Meeting of his rubber-stamp Merit Commission. Too bad somebody can’t catch up with Nygren in McHenry County long enough to pin him down for an answer on why he hasn’t acted.

    Where is the investigative staff of the County’s daily newspaper?

    Does Nygren have a reason for avoiding a showdown with Pyle, if he rips up the paycheck?

    Pyle’s pay is about $8,000/month. In two months, that’s $16,000. How much overtime does he put in for?

  9. The Sheriff’s Dept. Merit Commission is scheduled to meet in its March Regular Meeting this Wednesday, March 14, 10:30AM, on the second floor at 667 Ware Road. The meeting is open to the public.

    Every month a really crummy agenda is published, which tells the public nothing.

    It slides through with a “placeholder” for an Executive Session.

    This is extremely sloppy procedure, because it does not tell the public under what Section of the Open Meetings Act (OMA) any Executive Session might be held.

    Maybe it’s time for another OMA complaint.

    Where’s the lawyer for the Merit Commission? Why doesn’t she inform the Commission of its error in its Agenda preparation?

  10. @ Really…. Correct, Garrity does pertain to compelled statements and on its face seems to be a no brainer.

    The Garrity Rights or Garrity Rule states that a department member may be compelled to give statements under threat of discipline or discharge but those statements may not be used in the criminal prosecution of the individual officer however it becomes a very volatile situation in that there is a high risk that anything learned under Garrity could affect the criminal prosecution.

    Garrity is good for the employee, bad for the prosecution.

    Please go review U.S v Oliver North [United States v. North, 910 F.2d 843 (D.C. Cir. 1990] and then ask if a bifurcated investigation invoking Garrity is really worth the chance of compromising the prosecution of the criminal case.

    The US had old Ollie North dead cold in the Iran-Contra affair yet Congress felt fit to make him testify which they legally could do, just as the Sheriff could compel Pyle to give testimony in an internal.

    The testimony or transcripts are discoverable plus to fire Pyle would require a Merit Hearing at which point they could become public.

    Under North, the burden fell upon the prosecution to prove that none of the testimony was shared, learned or that the potential jury pool was not in any way contaminated. A very slippery slope. (Remember North prevailed)

    There is a good deal of controversy about precisely what the limitations are on the use of the statement or the fruits of any Garrity statements.

    There are volumes, but mostly rule in favor of the compelled employee, nota good omen for the local prosecution.

    The federal court of appeals in the case involving the prosecution of Oliver North held that a prosecutor has an affirmative burden of proving that all testimony must be free of any taint from the immunized statement.

    In the words of the court: “The District Court must hold a full hearing that will inquire into the content as well as the sources of the grand jury and trial witnesses’ testimony. That inquiry must proceed witness by witness, line by line and item by item. For each grand jury and trial witness, the [prosecution] must show by a preponderance of the evidence that no use whatsoever was made of any of the immunized testimony.” (Like I said, North prevailed)

    The ISP is the lead agency on the criminal case, however if Pyle is ordered to answer at the Sheriff’s IA, he would simply refuse, and then the Sheriff would assert Garrity and compel a statement.

    Either way he could be fired for disobeying a direct order or the appropriate violation of departmental conduct.

    Sound easy BUT he now later returns alleging his constitutional rights of self incrimination was denied since he was under the duress of the criminal charges.

    Okay so he is off the county payroll for the short term but wins a huge award from the county at minimum all back pay to the date of conviction.

    His defense attorney will launch the appeal that the testimony was potentially shared with the ISP investigators or that his firing became prejudicial to the jury as a tacit indication of guilt.

    Sometimes it is better making a short term payment rather than a huge payment later.

    We all know the results of hasty terminations.

    I do not have a dog in this fight; I just try to see logical outcomes without emotion.

    That said. I think if he is convicted, Pyle should spend a LONG time in prison.

    Regarding Merit Commission hearing, I am not too familiar with the workings of the local Merit Commission, but in most Municipal Employee suspensions, without pay is tantamount to firing.

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