2nd Ethics Complaint against Andy Zinke Dismissed for Lack of Sufficiency

Undersheriff Andy Zinke was taken off the ethics hook for a second time before the McHenry County Ethics Commission Thursday afternoon.

This mailing was submitted as evidence.

This mailing was submitted as evidence.

Former Sheriff’s Deputy Zane Seipler filed the complaint along with evidence of Zinke having had his photo taken in the Harvard Police Department with Harvard policemen as a backdrop.  The clock on the wall read slightly after three.

The second piece of evidence submitted was a dvd of the Chicago ABC news story on the Sheriff’s race.

Zinke’s part of the story is shot in the Sheriff’s Office.

The beginning of the segment on Andy Zinke shows this wall in the Sheriff's Office.

Near the beginning of the segment on Andy Zinke shows this wall in the Sheriff’s Office.

Zinke is seen in his office.

Andy Zinke is interviewed in his office.  Not the text under Zinke's name reads, "

Andy Zinke is interviewed in his office. Not the text under Zinke’s name reads, “(R) CANDIDATE MCHENRY COUNTY SHERIFF.”

Campaign literature is seen on a desk or table.

Zinke for Sheriff campaign literature is seen in the ABC story, presumably on a surface in the Sheriff's Department where the story was shot.

Zinke for Sheriff campaign literature is seen in the ABC story, presumably on a surface in the Sheriff’s Department where the story was shot.

Zinke is seen interrupting two employees for the benefit of the camera.

Andy Zinke looks over the shoulder of an employee he supervises on the ABC broadcast.

Andy Zinke looks over the shoulder of an employee he supervises on the ABC broadcast.

Andy Zinke interrupts an employee's work for the ABC camera.

Andy Zinke interrupts an employee’s work for the ABC camera.

Next the story touched upon the “feud” between McHenry County Sheriff Keith Nygren and State’s Attorney Lou Bianchi.

Turning to campaign opponent Bill Prim, ABC interviews him in his home.

Bill Prim is interviewed in his Cary living room for his candidate profile.

Bill Prim is interviewed in his Cary living room for his candidate profile.

Having set the stage, let me state the telling question asked by Ethics Commission Chairman Thomas Spencer:

“Does the involvement in that video amount to campaigning for him?”

That was the key question to Spencer concerning whether the complaint should be sent to the McHenry County State’s Attorney “for further review.”

During the hearing Andy Zinke didn't want his photo taken.  He is sitting next to his attorney Rebecca Lee.  In the back row is County Administrator Peter Austin.

During the hearing Andy Zinke didn’t want his photo taken. He is sitting next to his attorney Rebecca Lee. In the back row is County Administrator Peter Austin.

Right before the vote, Ethics Commission member Scott Hartman said,

“I struggle with the presence of the campaign literature and whether its presence represents prohibited political activity.”

Chairman Spencer then moved that the complain be considered “sufficient.”

Hartman seconded the motion.

Chairman Spencer explained that “a yes vote is a finding that the complaint is sufficient.” He further explained that the motion requited three affirmative votes.

Melissa Hernandez listens to Scott Hartman make a point.

Melissa Hernandez listens to Scott Hartman make a point.

(Two commission members–Cherie Ricket and John White failed to attend the meeting.)

Thomas Spencer

Thomas Spencer

Melissa Hernandez and Hartmen voted “Yes.”

Chairman Spencer voted “No.”

So, the motion failed.

The complaint was brought by former Deputy Sheriff Zane Seipler.

Introductory remarks, he noted the “staunch political allies of Mr. Zinke in the audience” and hoped that they would not exert undue influence on Commission members.

Among those in the audience were Sheriff Keith Nygren and County Board Chairwoman Tina Hill.

“The political climate of McHenry County is changing,” Seipler said.  “They may be influential, but I expect the Commission to do the right thing.”

Rebecca Lee presents Andy Zinke's defense to the ethics complaint filed by Zane Seipler (front row left).  In the back row is Sheriff Keith Nygren.  In the front row is Deputy Sheriff Bob Schlenkert.

Rebecca Lee presents Andy Zinke’s defense to the ethics complaint filed by Zane Seipler (front row left). In the back row is Sheriff Keith Nygren. Next to Seipler in the front row is Deputy Sheriff Bob Schlenkert.

Attorney Rebecca Lee represented Zinke.

She pointed out that Zinke “routinely conducts comments with the media..during compensated time, [but] he was not on the clock for this interview, so the “County wasn’t deprived of anything.”

Concerning the Harvard photo, she said that the complaint “doesn’t allege compensation at the time.”

She asked the Commission to “consider [the complaint's] source and to deny it as “meritless.”

McHenry County Board Chairwoman was seating in the front row of the audience and, after some discussion of the attempt to find a replacement for Herandez and the fact that one applicant already serves in another appointive position, Hill concluded that the County Board “probably should re-open the application process.”

= = = = =
On the trip back to Crystal Lake I reflected on the conclusion by Chairman Thomas Spencer, an attorney-at-law allowed to practice for five and a half years, that Andy Zinke’s appearance in a TV  news story on the Sheriff’s race in McHenry County could not be construed to be “campaigning.”

What a stunning disconnect from reality!

Didn’t he see what was written under the name of Andrew Zinke?

“(R) CANDIDATE MCHENRY COUNTY SHERIFF”

“Candidates” are involved in campaigning.

Either Spencer is hopelessly naive or something else was going on.

Brian Colgan Bests Mark Stern for 6th Congressional District State Central Committeeman in McHenry County

Monday Brian Colgan spoke to Algonquin Township Precinct Committeeman and most voted for him two days later.

Monday Brian Colgan spoke to Algonquin Township Precinct Committeeman and most voted for him two days later.

Here are the McHenry County results for 6th Congressional District State Central Committeeman:

  • Brian Colgan – 3,304
  • Mark Stern – 963

None of the other three candidates received any votes in McHenry County.

Colgan spoke the the Algonquin Township Republican Precinct Committeemen on Monday night.

 

Bond Beats Wheeler and Cook For 14th Congressional District State Central Committeeman

State Rep. Barb Wheeler and County Board candidate and Republican Party Treasurer Chuck Wheeler chat before the votes were announced.

State Rep. Barb Wheeler and County Board candidate and Republican Party Treasurer Chuck Wheeler chat before the votes were announced.

Garrett Hill, who was working on State Rep. Barbara Wheeler’s campaign for State Central Committeeman in the 14th District reports the following as final results:

  • Stan Bond – 20,324.
  • Barbara Wheeler – 16,723
  • Bob Cook – 7.706

In McHenry County, the totals were

  • Wheeler – 8,348
  • Cook 5,806
  • Bond – 108

Sandra Salgado Heads New McHenry County Republican Party Leadership Team

Temporary Chairman Tom Zanck swears in Sandra Salgado as new Chairman of the McHenry County GOP Central Committee/

Temporary Chairman Tom Zanck swears in Sandra Salgado as new Chairman of the McHenry County GOP Central Committee/

The vote was 12,153 to 8,703 in the contest between McHenry County Board member Sandra Salgado and Mark Daniel, Vice Chairman of the Republican Central Committee and Chairman of Nunda Township’s Central Committee.

A victory margin of 3,450 votes.

(Each elected GOP Committeeman is allowed to cast the number of Republican votes cast in last month’s primary election.)

After the vote totals were announced, the winners gathered at the front of the room to be sworn into office. From left to right are Secretary Diane Evertsen, Vice Chairman Andrew Gasser, Chairman Sandra Salgado and Treasurer Chuck Wheeler.

After the vote totals were announced, the winners gathered at the front of the room to be sworn into office.
From left to right are Secretary Diane Evertsen, Vice Chairman Andrew Gasser, Chairman Sandra Salgado and Treasurer Chuck Wheeler.

This is the first time in over fifty years that an outsider has captured control of the local Republican Party.

Andrew Gasser was the numbers guy for the winning coalition.  He was predicting victory prior to the announcement of the vote.

Andrew Gasser was the numbers guy for the winning coalition. He was predicting victory prior to the announcement of the vote.

She will succeed State Rep. Mike Tryon, who decided not to run again and endorsed Daniel.

Salgado’s coalition was largely behind Bill Prim for Sheriff in his race against Andy Zinke.

State’s Attorney Lou Bianchi, not a Precinct Committeeman, was at the event, as was Prim.

The vote was presauged by Monday’s Algonquin Township Republican Central Committee results when the only roll call resulted in first-time Precinct Committeeman Chris Yaeger bested long-time Committeeman and Vice Chairman Tom McDermott by almost a 2-1 margin (a 1,329 vote margin).

The room at d'Andrea's was packed.  On the front row were the Establishment candidates, Carolyn Schofield, John Jung, Glenda Miller and Mark Daniel.

The room at d’Andrea’s was packed. On the front row were the Establishment candidates, Carolyn Schofield, John Jung, Glenda Miller and Mark Daniel.

There was a three-way race for Vice Chairman.  The results follow:

  • Andrew Gasser – 11,392
  • John Jung – 6,958
  • Mike Shorten – 2,104
Incoming Chairman Sandra Salgado talks to outgoing Chairman Mike Tryon before the convention.

Incoming Chairman Sandra Salgado talked to outgoing Chairman Mike Tryon before the convention.

The Treasurer’s race was between newly-nominate District 4 County Board candidate Chuck Wheeler the party’s nominee for County Treasurer, Glenda Miller.

Wheeler won by a vote of 10,588 to 9,866.

For Secretary, County Board members Diane Evertsen and Carolyn Schofield faced off.

Evertsen got 12,184, while Schofield received 8,270.

Also decided were GOP officers for Nunda and McHenry Townships.

Newly-elected McHenry Township GOP Committeeman talked with Sandra Salgado before the count was announced.

Newly-elected McHenry Township GOP Committeeman talked with Sandra Salgado before the count was announced.

In McHenry Township, the new officers are

  • Steve Rooney, Chairman
  • Steven Robert Verr, Vice Chairman
  • Erik Sivertsen, Treasurer
  • Sue Draffkorn

The victory margins were about 2-1.

The new Nunda Township officers are

  • Mike Shorten, Chairman
  • Lee Jennings, Vice Chairman
  • Kate Williams, Treasurer
  • Cherie Haselgruber, Secretary
Grafton Township GOP Committeemen Marty Waitzman, Tom Poznanski, Paul Serwaka and Matt McNamara conversed during the meeting.  Poznanski desires to continue as Township Chairman.  Serwaka also wants the position.

Grafton Township GOP Committeemen Marty Waitzman, Tom Poznanski, Paul Serwatka and Matt McNamara conversed during the meeting. Poznanski desires to continue as Township Chairman. Serwatka also wants the position.

Grafton Township did not select officers.

Neither did what has been called the “Under Ten.”  Currently not sanctioned in the Central Committee’s by-laws, the smaller townships–Alden, Burton, Chemung, Coral, Dunham, Greenwood, Hartland, Hebron, Marengo, Richmond and Seneca–have informally organized during the last two years.

A view of the Convention from the northwest side of the room.

A view of the Convention from the northwest side of the room.

In Dorr Township, John Jung was selected Chairman and Tina Hill Vice Chairwoman.

Cook County Board of (Tax) Appeals Crooks Sentenced

A press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office:

TWO FORMER COOK COUNTY BOARD OF REVIEW ANALYSTS SENTENCED TO PRISON FOR ACCEPTING A BRIBE TO ARRANGE PROPERTY TAX REDUCTIONS

CHICAGO ― Two former analysts for the Cook County Board of Review were sentenced today for accepting $1,500 to facilitate reducing by more than $10,000 the property taxes on three residential properties.

THOMAS HAWKINS was sentenced to 24 months in prison and JOHN RACASI was sentenced to 18 months in prison after they were convicted of federal conspiracy, bribery, and fraud charges.

They were captured scheming with others to facilitate reducing property tax assessments in exchange for bribes in undercover recordings that were played at their week-long trial last October in U.S. District Court.

Hawkins, 50, and Racasi, 53, half-brothers and both of Chicago, were analysts on the staff of one of the three Board of Review commissioners in September 2008, when they accepted the $1,500 bribe payment.

Each of the three commissioners has analysts who handle residential property tax appeals and at least two of the three commissioners’ analysts must agree in order to reduce the Cook County Assessor’s property tax assessments.

“Offenses like [these], betray the citizens who pay property taxes in Cook County and who expect the process in place for assessing property values and appealing those property tax assessments to operate fairly and legitimately,” Assistant U.S. Attorneys Margaret J. Schneider and Michael T. Donovan, argued at sentencing.

According to the evidence at trial, Ali Haleem, a former Chicago police officer who began cooperating with the FBI in July 2008 and is awaiting sentencing on other federal charges, was introduced to Hawkins, who, in turn, introduced him to Racasi.

Haleem recorded numerous meetings and telephone conversations with both defendants in which they discussed facilitating property tax assessment reductions in exchange for bribes.

In September 2008, Haleem, Hawkins and Racasi discussed the specifics of the bribe Haleem would pay for reducing tax assessments on properties in Chicago, Burbank, and Tinley Park. On Sept. 11, 2008, Hawkins and Racasi agreed to reduce the assessed values on properties Haleem owned in Chicago and Burbank, as well as a property in Tinley Park owned by another individual, for three years beginning with the 2008 tax year.

Hawkins and Racasi provided Haleem with analysis sheets for these properties, which could be used to calculate the tax savings that a property owner would realize over the three-year period. In return for the $1,500 bribe, Hawkins and Racasi promised Haleem a total tax savings for the three properties over the three-year period of at least approximately $10,000.

Zachary Fardon

Zachary Fardon

The payment was made on Sept. 17, 2008, when Haleem met with Hawkins and Racasi and handed the money to Racasi. Hawkins assured Haleem that Racasi would later provide Hawkins with his share of the money.

Hawkins and Racasi also facilitated a reduction in property tax assessments on 11 condominium units in Chicago, expecting to receive bribe payments that Haleem would collect from the property owners once the reductions were verified.

The sentences were announced by Zachary T. Fardon, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and Robert J. Holley, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The FBI?s Chicago City Public Corruption Task Force led the investigation with assistance from the Chicago Police Department’s Internal Affairs Division, which is a task force member.

14th Congressional District State Central Committeeman Candidate Stan Bond Sends Email

A press release from Stan Bond:

Bond, Stan letterhead

I’m Ready For Change At The State Central Committee. Are You?

As a candidate running for State Central Committee in the 14th District I am committed to working for change and for a healthier Republican Party.

From speaking with party activists throughout the district, I know that Precinct Committeemen are looking for more support, more strategy, more materials, more training, and better leadership from the State Central Committee.

And they are absolutely right.

This is how we’ll strengthen the party.

Why This Vote Is Important

Your State Central Committeeman is supposed to represent you in the governance of the state Republican Party. I promise to continually ask for your opinions and I will inform you when important deliberations are about to occur. Nothing is more important to our party than to represent the true values of the voters in this district. If I am elected, your voice will be heard. And you will no longer need to wonder what the state central committee actually does.

Your State Central Committeemen:
• Are voting members of the Board of Directors for the Illinois Republican Party
• Make several important appointments that will impact the party platform and party priorities
• Also serve themselves on several important committees
• Have an important say in party strategy
• Have an important say in party rebuilding
* Help choose delegates to state and national conventions
• Help determine the tools that will be made available to precinct committeemen
My Agenda For Change
More party support for precinct committeemen
I will propose a Central Committee subcommittee specifically to serve and address the needs of precinct committeemen
Develop party branding materials to support your door to door efforts: Republican Principles, Party Platform Highlights, How To Get Involved, etc.
The current 4 year meeting cycle of the convention is too slow and keeps us out of date, we need 2 year meeting cycle
When we promote republican values, everyone wins from local to national
Principled outreach to minorities through neighborhood involvement that makes our party relevant to their lives
My Promise To You
I will serve with energy
I will seek your opinions
I will keep you informed
I will work for appreciation of what Precinct Commiteemen do
I will be your advocate

I will remain loyal to the Party Platform

New Age Media Skills to Help Our Party Succeed
youtubePublicity, Journalism, Public Education and Advertising have been my life’s work since graduating college with a major in Mass facebookCommunications and double minors in English and Social Psychology.

Why is that important?

I don’t think our party is successfully getting its message out, not only to the electorate, but even to its own county and township organizations.

To grow our base and be successful, we must reach out in new ways to new audiences.

With solid experience in mass communication, internet and social media, perhaps I can help the state central committee see possibilities.

And I can certainly find better ways to keep you informed about our party!


wkcro
 
Examples of My Service To Our Party
Chairman, Western Kane Co. Republican Organization (Kane County’s Largest Township)
Elected Precinct Committeeman, Sugar Grove 2 in Kane County
Prior to that, elected Precinct Committeeman in Batavia Township Precinct 20
Webmaster and hosting company for www.WesternKaneGOP.com
Trained and Certified Deputy Registrar
Notary Public (Petition Drives)

Yes, like you, I actually walk my precinct. And in parades!

Better Communication

If elected, I promise not only to work for change, but to communicate our progress regularly to the entire 14th District (Dekalb, Kane, Kendall, McHenry, Lake and Will Counties.) Let’s start right now with a mailing list where you can receive up to the minute news. Click Here to sign up for the 14th District e-News. I will work to keep you informed  and most of all, I will listen to you and work hard to press for your twitterpriorities. If you’ve been thinking the state central committee could care less what you think, please send me to represent you. You will see a change, I promise.

 
More About Stan
Long time business owner – 30 years (web site development, web/email hosting and marketing)
Chief Deputy, Kane County Clerk’s Office
Village of Montgomery elected Trustee
Neighborhood Watch organizer and Watch President – Foxmoor|Fairfield Way Subdivision (1,200+ members)
Batavia Library Board- former elected member
Attends Community Christian Church, Montgomery
Married for 36 years, 3 children, 3 grandchildren
Endorsements
Illinois Leadership Project Endorsements | Letter of Explanation
Kane County Board Chairman, Chris Lauzen (Enthusiastically!)
Kane County Conservative Coalition
Western Kane County Republican Organization Chair, Dennis Ryan (2012-2014)
Kane County GOP Central Committee Treasurer, Bill Keck
Kane County GOP Central Committee Exec. Secretary, Allen Skillicorn
Kane County GOP Geneva Township Chairman, Mike Foote
Kane County Dundee Township Chairman, Raymond Auger
Kane County Treasurer, David Rickert
Sugar Grove Trustee, Kevin Geary

Pro-Lifers Endorse Cook, Reject Barb Wheeler, for 14th District State Central Committeeman

A press release from local Pro-Life groups:

Right to Life Groups Endorse Bob Cook for 14th State Central Committeeman

Crystal Lake, Illinois, April 16, 2014 – In a unanimous vote the officers of Lake and McHenry County Right to Life groups voted to endorse Bob Cook for 14th demonstrated his dedication to family values such as protecting the lives of the unborn.

Before his talk, Congressman Randy Hultgren chatted with McHenry County Pro-Life "Godmother" Irene Napier.

Before his talk, Congressman Randy Hultgren chatted with McHenry County Pro-Life “Godmother” Irene Napier.

Also campaigning for the position is current state representative Barbara Wheeler whose recent campaign contributions and endorsement of candidates not supporting the Right to Life community’s traditional marriage stance has raised questions about her policy positions.

The groups stressed that trust was a critical factor in reaching their endorsement decision.

“Barb has proven to be untrustworthy in the defense of these positions,” said Bonnie Quirk of the Lake County Right to Life.

The group looks forward to working with Bob Cook and helping the party to represent the traditional values the families of the 14th Congressional State Central Committeeman. Bob Cook has congressional district so dearly adhere to.

= = = = =
Congressman Randy Hultgren has endorsed State Rep. Barb Wheeler.

McHenry County Party Conventions Tonight at 7 in Crystal Lake

Republican and Democratic Party Central Committees will meet on opposite sides of Crystal Lake tonight at 7:30 to select officers and conduct other business.

Both have open to the public in past years.

Details for the Democrats
follow:

Wednesday, April 16, 2014 at 7:00 PM · 5 rsvps
McHenry County College in Crystal Lake, IL

The Democratic Party of McHenry County will meet at 7:00 p.m., April 16 at McHenry County College in room B166-167. This facility is handicap accessible.

Republicans will meet at 7 PM at d’Andrea’s.

Doors open at 6.

Mark Daniel’s slate of officers is providing eats starting at 5:30.

50 Years in Jail for Child Porn Conviction

A press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office:

DES PLAINES MAN SENTENCED TO 50 YEARS IN PRISON FOR SEXUALLY EXPLOITING 11 CHILDREN AND PRODUCING CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

CHICAGO ― A former Des Plaines man was sentenced to 50 years in federal prison for sexually molesting nine children and producing child pornography with seven of those victims, as well as creating pornographic images of two other victims whom he sexually exploited.

The defendant, BOBBY CRUZ, 34, pleaded guilty last September to one count of interstate travel to engage in sex with a minor and two counts of producing child pornography, resolving separate federal cases that were brought in both the Northern and Central Districts of Illinois. He has remained in federal custody since he was arrested in November 2011.

In an emotional sentencing hearing yesterday afternoon, two victims and a parent of six other victims told U.S. District Judge Robert M. Dow, Jr., about the traumatic damage that Cruz inflicted upon their lives.

“The harm to the victims is incalculable,” Judge Dow said in imposing the maximum sentence under the terms of Cruz’s plea agreement. The “victims are the most vulnerable in society” and Cruz’s crimes were “brazen beyond belief,” the judge added.

Cruz sexually exploited boys and girls, who were between the ages of 2 and 11 when the abuse began, to produce child pornography.

None of the victims were random and all were children that Cruz had access to being around.

Cruz was ordered to remain under court supervision for life, and he must serve at least 85 percent of his sentence.

There is no parole in the federal prison system.

“The defendant has imposed a life sentence on each one of these victims,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennie Levin argued in seeking the 50-year sentence.

“No amount of prison time seems sufficient for the unspeakable trauma Cruz inflicted on his innocent victims,” said Gary J. Hartwig, Special Agent-in-Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Chicago.

Zachary Fardon

Zachary Fardon

The sentence was announced by Mr. Hartwig and Zachary T. Fardon, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois

The investigation of Cruz began just before he was arrested when Cruz traded images of child pornography with an undercover law enforcement officer. Ultimately, agents seized 300 videos and images of homemade child pornography from Cruz’s residence, along with 1,130 additional videos and images that he possessed.

The investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide HSI initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel abroad for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders, and child sex traffickers. The Des Plaines Police Department and the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office assisted in the investigation.

= = = = =
These are similar charges to which former McHenry County Sheriff’s Deputy Greg Pyle entered a plea

Pyle’s minimum sentence will be 30 years when he next comes before Judge Frederick Kapala

Sheriff’s Race: Zinke v. Prim, $76,000 v. $66,700

Andy Zinke

Andy Zinke

This are far from total numbers, just what the two Republican candidates for Sheriff spent since New Year’s Day.

Bill Prim

Bill Prim

But, that’s when the bulk of money in a campaign is spent.

  • Andy Zinke: $75,994
  • Bill Prim: $66,721

The vote totals were

Bill Prim got

Bill Prim got 14,520 votes to Andy Zinke’s 14,423

So, since January 1st, it cost less per vote for Prim–$4.60 each–to Zinke’s $5.29 apiece