Zinke Exoneration Summary Reported by First Electric Newspaper

Andy Zinke

Andy Zinke

The First Electric Newspaper’s Editor, Pete Gonigam, got half a loaf in response to this Freedom of Information request and suit yesterday.

Gonigam sought a report prepared by Donald Leist about an “investigation clearing former Undersheriff Andy Zinke of violating general orders by telling a political supporter the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration was following a shipment of marijuana to his warehouse.”

Judge Thomas Meyer, ruling about two years after the original FOIA request was filed, allowed only a redacted summary of the report that former Sheriff Keith Nygren approved with relationship to protege Undersheriff Andy Zinke.

You can read Gonigam’s article here.

The reporter also summarizes¬†Sgt. John Kozio’s suit that prompted the internal examination.

Included in the story is McHenry County State’s Attorney Lou Bianchi’s decision that Zinke broke no laws in telling a local businessman and political supporter that a truck coming to his firm had interested the Drug Enforcement Administration.

A bill was passed subsequently (Senate Bill 2695) that seems to make future such actions “official misconduct”:

(720 ILCS 5/33-3) (from Ch. 38, par. 33-3)

Sec. 33-3. Official Misconduct.)

(a) A public officer or employee or special government agent commits misconduct when, in his official capacity or capacity as a special government agent, he or she commits any of the following acts:

(b) An employee of a law enforcement agency commits misconduct when he or she knowingly uses or communicates, directly or indirectly, information acquired in the course of employment, with the intent to obstruct, impede, or prevent the investigation, apprehension, or prosecution of any criminal offense or person. Nothing in this subsection (b) shall be construed to impose liability for communicating to a confidential resource, who is participating or aiding law enforcement, in an ongoing investigation.


Comments

Zinke Exoneration Summary Reported by First Electric Newspaper — 15 Comments

  1. Andy is a good man.

    The witch hunt perpetuated by phony republicans is a scam.

    Thankfully, 2016 isn’t so far away and we can restore the McHenry County GOP.

    Gasser and his band of tea party acolytes are not wanted in McHenry nor do they represent the views of her residents.

  2. Here is some more history on SB 2695 in the 98th General Assembly which was signed into law as Public Act 98-0867 (PA 98-0867).

    Senate Sponsors were:
    David Koehler (D – 46th – Peoria)
    Bill Cunningham (D – 18th – Chicago)

    House Sponsors were:
    Michael Unes (R – 91st – Pekin)
    Brian W. Stewart (R – 89th – Freeport)
    Michael J. Zalewski (D – 98th – Riverside)
    John D. Anthony (R – 75th – Morris)
    Ron Sandack (R – 81st – Downers Grove)

    Here is the voting summary in the Illinois General Assembly.

    Passed the Senate March 4, 2014:
    52 Yeas
    0 Nays
    0 Present
    7 No Votes (NV) including Dan Duffy (R – 26th – Barrington) and Karen McConnaughay (R – 33rd – West Dundee).

    Passed the House May 16, 2014.
    104 Yeas
    0 Nays
    0 Present
    2 No Votes (NV) including Jack Franks (D – 63rd – Woodstock).
    12 Excused Absences (E).

    Pat Quinn signed SB2695 into law as PA 98-0867 on August 8, 2014.

    The new law became effective on January 1, 2015.

    The following from the 98th General Assembly 2014 Spring Session Legislative Update published by the Illinois State Police.

    Senate Bill 2695…………………………………………………….. Public Act 98-867
    Amends the Criminal Code of 2012 concerning official misconduct.

    Provides that an employee of a law enforcement agency commits misconduct when he or she knowingly uses or communicates, directly or indirectly, information acquired in the course of employment, which obstructs, impedes, or prevents the investigation, apprehension, or prosecution of any criminal offense or person.

    Provides that an employee who violates this provision is guilty of a Class 3 felony and shall forfeit his or her office or employment.

    Provides that an element of the offense requires that the defendant intends to obstruct, impede, or prevent the investigation, apprehension, or prosecution of the criminal offense or person.

    Adds that nothing in the new offense shall be construed to impose liability for communicating to a confidential resource, who is participating or aiding law enforcement, in an ongoing investigation.

    720 ILCS 5/33-3 …………………………………………… Effective Date January 1, 2015

  3. Proud RINO – a huge lol.

    Nobody wants change in McHenry County gop?

    That’s hysterical.

    Witch hunt on Zinke?

    What about the witch hunt on Gasser?

    It’s a new day in McHenry County thankfully.

    Enough of you democrats posing as republicans.

    The miserable state of Illinois will get back to business one county & one governor at a time. No CHICAGO thug politics in our county!

  4. Every time someone calls those who oppose your view point Cook County Thugs, I just laugh out loud.

    You mean that single party, family nepotism filled, self-serving government?

    That might be a mirror your looking at.

  5. I forgot!

    Also one SHERIFF at a time!

    Inish you don’t even make any sense

  6. What 3 questions are those to ask DEA ?..

    If this would have been a Deputy being investigated, there wouldn’t be these those lame questions…

    Talk about wiping butter all over it.

    It doesn’t matter if DEA felt about this .

    This matter was suppose to be handled by Nygren.

    Its was his job to investigate his members within MCSO for General Orders or criminal violations.

    1.5.00-9..states ” Members shall refrain from associating with person(s), organizations, or places that are less reputable. To this end personal association with persons who are under criminal investigation is PROHIBITED !….

    Nygren, this means PROHIBITED ! ..

    Means no, no, no.

    Conduct unbecoming , official misconduct, bad moral for MCSO..there are probably at least a dozen of General Orders that Nygren could have charged Zinke with, but failed to do….

  7. So Rita Corp was under investigation by the DEA, Andy Zinke told the President, Brian Goode, that the DEA was investigating him, yet somehow Zinke did no wrong.

    Bianchi thinks this is perfectly fine.

    And people wonder why I bash Bianchi.

    I had cops close to my house before.

    When I asked them what they were doing, they told me that they couldn’t tell me what they were doing.

    I wonder why?

    I bet they could have just told me exactly who they were investigating and why and they wouldn’t have been in any trouble, right?

    Ha!

  8. Telling Brian Goode may not have been illegal, but it sure was unethical.

    This company was his campaign headquarters and Goode was a significant money donor to his campaign.

    Andy should have stayed out of it and let the DEA follow the drugs to wherever they arrived.

    He told Don Leist that thousands of trucks with drugs go through McHenry County everyday and in his experience they don’t often go to where they say they are destined.

    This according to the investigative report received from FEN.

    I sure hope there are not thousands of trucks a day with drugs going through the County.

    If so, Andy did not do much about it.

    Just be glad he is gone

  9. Proud Republican appears to believe that if an act is immoral but does not break a ‘man-made’ law it is OK.

    That attitude is very prevalent on the McHenry County Board as indicated by those who voted to not allow an elected Representative of the people represent his constituents.

    That attitude was also prevalent when several Board members held a meeting subsequently ruled ruled ILLEGAL by the State Attorney General.

    I pray more moral citizens will run for Republican committeemen positions next year to replace the remaining committeemen who approve of immoral behavior.

  10. The quotes by the DEA in this report are pretty clear that their stance is that the Under-Sheriff did not impede or compromise their investigation despite the many fiction writers here that claim they do.

    The new law Cal quotes is interesting though.

    It seems to be the stance of the DEA from all facts so far that Zinke did not communicate “directly or indirectly, information acquired in the course of employment, with the intent to obstruct, impede, or prevent the investigation, apprehension, or prosecution of any criminal offense or person.”

    However can the same be said about Koziol?

    His making the ongoing investigation part of open public record and the resulting press coverage seems like it could be construed as indirectly communicating details of the investigation to those actually being targeted, wouldn’t it?

    What I still can’t get a grasp on is if those who keep implying Goode was a target of an investigation instead of a witness really are that naive or if they really just can’t let go of a juicy accusation in spite of no direct evidence?

    If Goode was in any way a target of a criminal investigation anyone with common sense would seem to conclude that DEA’s stance would be radically different than stated in this report.

  11. Much is also debated on sites like these about anonymity.

    I feel comfortable stating opinions and asking questions anonymously.

    Quite frankly there are some crazies out there, I am not a public official, but I would never accuse someone directly of doing something illegal without attaching my real name to it.

    I say that as I do find it interesting that despite all the false bravado and certainty from a certain local political insider cliche, I have not seen a single person with the conviction in their supposed belief to put their name to stating Mr. Goode committed a crime or was even the target of a criminal investigation.

    I am very comfortable that trend will continue.

  12. Why would the Sheriff fight a legal battle to withhold the report?

    And how come people are so reluctant to change the status quo of Police investigating themselves?

  13. Better question is when is this Sheriff’s department going to now release their vetting investigation on their new Chief Of Patrol’s known criminal history.

    Knowing of the convictions there had to be a thorough investigation of the past criminal behavior, right.

    Just having been a campaign worker could not have produced clear understanding of the criminal history, could it?

    There has to be a report, right?

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