A press release from Independent candidate for McHenry County Sheriff Jim Harrison:
Sheriff’s Candidate Bill Prim Tied to Des Plaines Police Beatings!
Independent Sheriff’s candidate Jim Harrison is urging voters to examine an Arbitrator’s ruling [SEE ATTACHED] that found that, as a Des Plaines Police Commander, Bill Prim was on-scene and knew of numerous beatings of persons in police custody, some in handcuffs, and did nothing about it.
“Bill Prim is unfit for duty as Sheriff of McHenry County,” Harrison said.
“Prim was there, he was in charge, he saw and he knew that Officer John Bueno was brutally beating prisoners without any justification.”
“Prim failed to order Bueno to file reports;
- he failed to investigate;
- he failed to file reports himself;
- he failed to preserve evidence;
- he failed to take any action whatsoever.
“Instead, Prim praised Bueno for being “an aggressive officer” and even gave him good performance evaluations.”
Prim’s campaign asks people to “Join Bill Prim in returning honor, integrity and public trust in the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office.”
“But a candidate for Sheriff has to possess these attributes himself before he can instill them in others,” Harrison said.
Prim also claims that he will “Establish an impartial Internal Affairs office to monitor Sheriff’s employees and address misconduct swiftly and fairly.”
Yet time and time again, when confronted by serious misconduct against citizens committed by an officer in Prim’s command, Prim did nothing.
Prim’s stated plans for the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office are contrasted by his record of failures to address serious misconduct when he was a Police Commander in Des Plaines.
Politicians and other noted supporters of Prim include:
- McHenry County State’s Attorney Lou Bianchi
- Illinois State Senator Dan Duffy
- Former U.S. Congressman Joe Walsh
- Republican Committeeman Andrew Gasser
- McHenry County Board Member Nick Provenzano
- Gary Rabine/Rabine Group
- Merryman Construction
- Michael Schuch and Sons
- Cancer Treatment Centers of America
- Twice-fired Deputy Sheriff Zane Seipler
Harrison questioned, “How much information did these people know about Prim’s involvement in the ongoing Des Plaines police scandals, and when did they know it?
Harrison invited former Commander Prim “to explain his actions, his failures to act, and his testimony given on behalf of Officer John Bueno.”
Harrison said his committee will continue to investigate the matter further and will release additional information shortly.
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What follows is Bill Prim’s response:
PRIM CALLS HARRISON ALLEGATIONS “UTTERLY BASELESS”; QUESTIONS PECULIAR TIMING
Republican Candidate for McHenry County Sheriff released the following statement Monday:
“I find it interesting that Mr. Harrison has had, until now, nothing to say about me publicly. [See “McHenry County Undersheriff Andy Zinke’s Giving the Finger in Crystal Lake Parade Brings Comments“]
“I am also not his opponent in the general election, as he is running as an independent and not in the Republican primary.
“But let Undersheriff Zinke generate some bad publicity for himself at a weekend parade and Mr. Harrison suddenly wakes from his slumber to hurl accusations at me, in fact to concoct an entire fairy tale based on an arbitrator’s ruling in a union grievance.
“I do not consider these two events unrelated.
“To the substance of his utterly baseless allegations: I was not on the scene of the incident that led to the arbitration ruling.
“In fact I was not even on duty at the time of the incident on August 12, 2010.
“It was my regular day off.
“When, on subsequent days, I was made aware of the allegation against Officer Bueno, I immediately notified my boss, Deputy Chief Mike Kozak.
“A Deputy Chief from another division, not mine, conducted the Internal Investigation.
“Furthermore, I was never charged or disciplined, not once in my 27-year career, for violations of the use of force either in the case at issue or any other case, nor for tolerating or condoning use of force violations in those under my command.
“I have never been sued in civil court by any alleged victim of brutality.
“In fact, the only person in 27 years who has ever connected me with police brutality is Mr. Harrison, who has never commanded law enforcement officers or deputies for a single day and has no knowledge of Des Plaines police reporting procedures.
“I may have more to say in the days ahead, but it was only late today that a 65-page arbitrator’s ruling was thrown at me.
“As an attorney, Mr. Harrison should be aware that arbitrations are only quasi-judicial proceedings, and do not have the same rules of evidence of a genuine civil or criminal proceeding.
“He should be careful about taking as gospel some unsupported allegations that arise in the course of an arbitration.
“He should also remind himself that duly licensed officers of the court are held to a higher standard of truthfulness than simple political candidates.
“Perhaps had Mr. Harrison delved further into this document, he might have found the following statements, taken verbatim from page 23 of the arbitrator’s report:
“Commander William Prim, the only witness the Union called to testify, was the Grievant’s supervisor prior to his termination (Tr. 546, 567). Prim testified that he never condoned the use of unnecessary force against the arrestees, he never rewarded an officer for the use of unnecessary force, and he never gave the Grievant a positive performance evaluation as a signal to condone excessive or unnecessary force (Tr. 562 – 563).”