Of course, there was no chance that McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks would nominate former McHenry County Board member Michael Rain–the Republican Party choice–to replace Republican Dr. Ann Majewski as County Coroner.
He made that clear in a Northwest Herald article earlier this week.
Rein was an effective check and balance on Chairman Franks on the County Board and, if there is one thing that Democrat can’t stand, it’s someone who thwarts his agenda.
Rein most irritated Franks when, right after Franks took office, he saved the Personnel Committee that Franks wanted to merge into another committee.
Rein also forced savings on Franks when the Chairman sought to remodel the Administrative Building.
And, Rein was the leader in saving tax dollars on employee health benefits.
The constant give and take led to Franks’ Illinois Integrity Fund allies merciless attacks on Rein during the Republican primary and the general election campaign which led to the election of Democrat Carols Acosta.
Now Franks again ignores state law requiring the appointment of a replacement for a countywide elected official:
(10 ILCS 5/25-11)(from Ch. 46, par. 25-11)
When a vacancy occurs in any elective county office…the county board…shall declare that such vacancy exists and notification thereof shall be given to the county central committee or the appropriate county board or board of county commissioners district committee of each established political party within 3 days of the occurrence of the vacancy. The vacancy shall be filled within 60 days by appointment of the chair of the county board…with the advice and consent of the county board…The appointee shall be a member of the same political party as the person he succeeds was at the time of his election and shall be otherwise eligible to serve. The appointee shall serve the remainder of the unexpired term.
Franks ignored this law first when Pam Palmer stepped down as McHenry County Auditor.
Having had disagreements about purchases which her Chief Deputy Shannon Teresi had denied (lip balm with Franks’ name and office printed on the tubes, for instance), Franks refused to appoint her until County Board members make it clearly known that his favorite, Nancy Gonsiorek, would not be approved.
Gonsiorek had been a candidate in the District 3 County Board Republican Primary Election.
In the same NWH article announcing his support for Gonsiorek, Franks advocated abolishing the independent office of Auditor and replacing it with an Inspector General reporting to someone doing his will.
While Palmer resigned at the end of December, 2017, Franks did not allow the Board to vote for Teresi until April–clearly more than sixty days after the resignation.
It is now about four months later, that is, twice the sixty days in which state laws directs Franks to act.
Dr. Majewski resigned the end of February.
In the article, Franks attacks the qualifications of chiropractic doctor Rein.
“I want to professionalize the office and depoliticize our government,” the NWH quotes him.
Close observers of what Franks has done to politicize McHenry County government since he took office must surely have chuckled, if not laughed out loud, when they read that.
There is no mention in the article of Jack Franks’ politicization of county government with the two patronage employees he hired or his refusal to put items on the agenda in a timely fashion that Coroner Majewski requested or those that committee chairwoman Yvonne Barnes requested. (The former putting stress on Majewski,)
[It should be noted that article author Drew Zimmerman joined the NWH staff less than a year ago.]
What makes Dr. Rein unqualified is that he has “no background in pathology or forensic science,” the NWH states in an indirect quote.
Missing is that of the nine applicants some clearly do not meet the specifications outlined in the law.
Note the requirement that the replacement be of the same political party as the resigning official.
One candidate who clearly does not meet that is Democrat Richard Jackson.
The other’s names, in alphabetical order, besides Rein and Jackson, appear below:
- Patricia J. Bogard, previous McHenry County Deputy Coroner with a degree in Mortuary Science
- Shannon Parker Havenhill, MSN, RN, Crystal Lake
- Mark Justen, Owner of Justen Funeral Home and Crematory in McHenry
- Lisa A. Maire, retired funeral director
- Orlando Portillo, McHenry County Deputy Coroner and former Lake County Coroner Chief Deputy
- Teresa Steph, attorney, Cary
- Edith M. Varga, former McHenry County Deputy Coroner, degree in mortuary science
Since the new Coroner must be a Republican, a Friend of McHenry County Blog looked at voting records back to the turn turn of the century.
Here is what was found:
- Bogard – no primary votes since 2000
- Havenhill – no primary vote shown since 2000 – only shows one vote in 2018 general
- Jackson – hard D
- Justen – hard R
- Maire – voted R once in 2002 – no other primaries shown for her
- Portillo – two active voting records with same birth date – voted early in the 2018 general – no other votes showing
- Rein – hard R
- Steph – no primary voting record
- Varga – hard R
While Jack Franks contends that he wants to take politics out of county government, state law obviously requires a political connection.