Backdooring Sheriff Nygren’s Replacement – Part 1

Keith Nygren at Port Edward October 4, 2011.

Remember in history classes how the professor told you that the conspiratorial theory of history was bunk.

I’m willing to guess the Oberlin College prof that told us students that didn’t know much about Illinois politics.

Having seen what appeared to be a quite healthy Sheriff Keith Nygren at the Republican Party’s Port Edward fund raiser Monday night introducing his chosen heir Andy Zinke, appointed Undersheriff after Undersheriff Gene Lowery left to become Deputy Crystal Lake Police Chief, I’m wondering what those interested in retaining control of the Sheriff’s Department are up to. (From that sentence structure, can you tell I took too much German.)

Zane Seipler

But it wasn’t just Zinke that leads me to think that an active campaign has begun.

I’m pretty sure he brought his wife and child.

One does not subject one’s family to a boring (to them) Republican fund raiser unless it’s really important that they be in attendance.

Rumor has it that both

  • Gene Lowery, whom I’m told thought he was to be Nygren’s choice until election night, and
  • Nygren’s 2010 GOP primary opponent Zane Seipler

are not at all happy at Zinke’s active campaigning for an office that most think will not be on the ballot until 2014.

After all, that’s when Nygren’s term runs out.

But, in the Northwest Herald’s September 28th front page article announcing Zinke’s candidacy for McHenry County Sheriff, Nygren says he is not only backing Zinke, but might step down if he has health or some other unforeseen situation arises.

Andy Zinke campaigning at Port Edward.

The “let’s leave some wiggle room” approach by Nygren got me thinking.

Nygren also placed great emphasis in the NWH article that appeared the day before Seipler’s Appellate Court victory about how having a mandate from the voters is important, although he mentions a four-year term.

How can Nygren maneuver Zinke into office?

I see four ways and will discuss one a day.

Nygren could resign the day before the beginning of filing.

That would be Sunday, November 27th or maybe the Friday before.

Petitions and Statements of Economic Interest can be filed on Monday, November 28th through Monday, December 5th.

Resigning before the beginning of filing means the office would be filled by a special election in November and that there would be a primary election in March to decide who would represent the Republican Party on the ballot.

If Nygren decided to resign before filling started, he would be following the example of retiring judges, especially in Cook County.

Wanting to make sure their friend has a huge advantage, a Judge will not tell anyone but his chosen replacement that he intends to retire.

Then he (women wouldn’t stoop that low would they?) announces his retirement and the chosen one is the only person who has petitions ready to file.

With Nygren’s resignation, state law says the following would happen:

“…until a vacancy in the office of sheriff is filled as provided in The Election Code, the undersheriff shall be the acting sheriff with all the powers and duties of a sheriff.”

Coroner Marlene Lantz took over before Nygren was appointed.

Another section of the law talks of an appointment being made. I’m assuming that’s by the County Board.

Would the County Board wait until after the primary and, being dominated by Republicans, appoint whomever wins?

If this is Nygren’s plan, then he most certainly will follow the Northwest Herald’s advice and appeal the 2nd Appellate Court’s reinstatement of Seipler in the Sheriff’s Department and appeal his losing case to the Illinois Supreme Court.

Not that he has a chance of winning an union arbitration case before a Court majority that was elected with labor union money, but, hey, it’s the taxpayer’s footing the bill and as long as the case is on appeal, Seipler will not get a fat check for back pay, some of which he could use to finance a campaign against Zinke.

That was Nygren’s strategy in appealing Judge Meyer’s decision affirming the arbitrator’s decision that Seipler should get back his job after a three-day suspension.

So, if Lowery and Seipler think Nygren might be this sneaky, what should they do?

The answer, of course, is


Pretty obvious, right?

Scenario two tomorrow.

= = = = =
Backdooring” is explained in various ways at a gaming web site.   One is

  • “The benefit of the strategy lies in the element of surprise” and
  • as ” a high-risk high-reward tactic.”


Backdooring Sheriff Nygren’s Replacement – Part 1 — 8 Comments

  1. That crook and gas bag Nygren needs to go. When are people going to understand the truth?

  2. Nygren should not be pushing his candidate on us. I think this is an office that should not be political just straightforward.

    We need new blood not his creation.

    When he said Andy has to learn the political side, it was a real turn off.

    This is no way to get a sheriff. We will just get more of the same with all of its problems.

  3. Perhaps the best way to help Under Sheriff Zinke is to just allow him to learn the ropes by attending functions with his family on his own.

    He is obviously a capable law man so maybe let this gentleman show the county who he is as a person and show that he cares about the people of McHenry County.

    Im not going to relive history, as far as I am concerned many of us made clear what we believed had been going on.

    I can tell you, that although my experience in Hebron trying to get help was a rough road and it cost me dearly, I vividly recall sending an email to then Lt. Zinke about an instance I saw that involved some “punks” and his officers who needed to have and did have guns drawn down on some suspects.

    The then Lt. Zinke could not have been more professional, nor shown more concern that he had toward my family and I. (The instance happened on my property)

    Im not going to state that Sheriff Nygren’s influence will hurt U.S. Zinke because I believe many improvements have taken place and I will leave things at that.

    My only advise based on what all I know to be true, is that Mr Zinke, I hope you are able to allow your natural kindness and professionalism to shine through.

    You have what it takes to be a Sheriff. I’ve witnessed it.

    These are different days and times, the old ways of “Campaigning” in McHenry County, may not be helpful to a man of your calibur.

    My hope is due to the fact that US Zinke is professionally certified and has had additional training, that he can have the opportunity to ‘earn’ the Sheriff’s position based on his qualifications and not via who he may or may not ‘hang’ out with.

    “We” can hope!

  4. Why was Zinke at a political fundraiser IN UNIFORM? Did he drive his MCSD take-home vehicle to the fundraiser? Did his wife and child ride with him in the MCSD squad car? The assumption is that Zinke, in uniform and armed, did not consume any alcoholic beverage at the fundraiser.

  5. Why is Nygren sporting a 5-point star on his lapel and not his 7-point emblem that is plastered all over the place? Good photo, Cal!

    Is the official emblem of the Office of Sheriff the 5-point or the 7-point badge? It’s the five-pointer, isn’t it?

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