What Judge Thomas Meyer Apparently Doesn’t Care to See

Zane Seipler

Keith Nygren

As most McHenry County Blog readers know, former and future (my prediction) McHenry County Deputy Sheriff Zane Seipler is seeking appointment of a Special Prosecutor from Judge Thomas Meyer to probe whether Sheriff Keith Nygren used county taxes to further his campaign.

Judge Meyer seemed uninterested in the big exhibit of supposed wrongdoing which Seipler attorney Blake Horwitz brought to court.

Meyer mentioned that he was aware of what the Sheriff and McHenry County Board Chairman Ken Koehler had told the Northwest Herald.

Click to enlarge.

When one of the attorneys brought up subpoenas which Seipler attorney Horwitz had served on the Sheriff’s Department, Judge Meyer quashed them.

As he ruled that the subpoenas could not be enforced, Judge Meyer said that it was not the responsibility of Siepler’s attorney to make the criminal case against Nygren, that that would be the task of the Special Prosecutor, if one were named.

Judge Meyer said his decision about naming a Special Prosecutor would be made based solely upon whether McHenry County State’s Attorney Lou Bianchi was unavailable or had a conflict of interest, two conditions containing in the statute which states when a Special Prosecutor can be named.

Nevertheless, I was curious as to what information the subpoenas requested that the Judge apparently had no interest in reviewing. So I filed a Freedom of Information request.

The subpoenas are dated September 19, 2011, with a return date of October 6th.

The first is for Undersheriff Andy Zinke.  It asks for “Any and all documents in your possession or control which contain a seven pointed star as an emblem and/or symbol of the McHenry County Sheriff’s Department within the document.   Petitioner is not requesting documents which are the subject matter of law enforcement privilege.”

The second, dated September 19th, is to John Trotter.

It requests, “Any and all documents in your possession or control which concern the placement of a seven pointed star on any wall(s) within the Sheriff’s Department and onto any any official vehicles, motorcycles, trailers, snowmobiles, golf carts of the department (see rider).”

The rider explains that financial records are being sought, including “receipts, financial transactions, payment to a contractor, subcontractor for work performed concerning the placement of the seven pointed star.”

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A couple of thoughts occurred while writing this piece.

I have watched Judge Meyer for many hours, starting with the Northwest Herald’s case against me.

Many times while waiting for that case and two cases involving Zane Seipler (the FOP arbitration administrative review case and the Special Prosecutor case), I have arrived early and seen his deliberate style and well-reasoned judgements.

I can’t believe he would be influenced by misleading information in a newspaper indicating that the price of a Special Prosecutor would have to be as egregious as the amount billed by Tonigan and McQueen.

Indeed, McHenry County already has a $30,000 per year arrangement with the Illinois State’s Attorneys Appellate Prosecutor, which has gone unmentioned in the Northwest Herald, to the best of my knowledge, but about which I reported in August.  County Board Chairman Ken Koehler signs the resolution each year.  The contract includes trial assistance, such as, acting as a Special Prosecutor for no extra cost, except for incidentals like copying and other miscellaneous costs.

Nor do I believe Judge Meyer could be influenced by the Northwest Herald’s editorial urging him to drop the request for a Special Prosecutor based on the fiasco that resulted from Tonigan’s failed efforts any more than he considered the influence of the county’s dominant newspaper in its case against me.

What I don’t understand is the Judge’s apparent lack of interest in evidence of the Sheriff’s alleged use of his office for political purposes.  Does he believe the allegations and exhibites themselves are serious enough to consider appointing a Special Prosecutors?

We’ll probably never know.  As my son tells me when I try to understand his thought processes:

“It’s my mind.”


What Judge Thomas Meyer Apparently Doesn’t Care to See — 8 Comments

  1. Khoeler, Northwest Herald and the Good Old Republicans, all feel it is a waste of taxpayer money to pursue a Special Prosecutor to investigate the Sheriff.


    Let’s not kid ourselves.

    This isn’t about money.

    When has a State’s Attorney or a police agency ever said they don’t look into criminal activity because it will cost money?

    As pointed out, it wouldn’t cost any money.

    The Republicans are scared.

    If Nygren gets investigated, he will be indicted.

    If he is indicted, all the GOP leaders are going to be critized for letting this Sheriff do whatever he wanted for all these years.

    I also believe that some of the GOP superstars are probably in bed with Nygren and his dirty dealings.

    It’s great for corrupt politicians when they are in cahoots with the top cop.

    Back to the money, I read that the county has paid out $615,000 fighting Seipler’s reinstatement and his wrongful termination suit.

    How come Khoeler doesn’t care about that money??

    It’s not about money, it’s about power, corruption and the web of it that is cast like a net over the whole Republican party.

    I know Nygren is scared.

    Why else would he cry to the Northwest Herald like a little girl about how Bianchi is out to get him.

    Innocent people don’t cry.

    Innocent people say bring it on.

    Man up Sheriff.

  2. Cal, perhaps the issue is that Judge Meyer, a reasonable and deliberate man in your words, sees this mud slinging as just that-baseless fodder being cast about by a disgruntled minority attempting to thrust their agenda down the collective gullet of the people, with the end game being the ouster of an elected official. Zane and Gus have never rasied anything, besides a few sheeple’s eyebrows, over this 7 point star = malfeasance and corruption propaganda. Sorry folks, but the first admendment permits the use of emblems in campaigning. I’ve said it before, what’s next, go after Presidential campaigners for posing with the U.S. Flag? Please, if there is some profiteering or mis-spending going on-show something more than a wine bottle from Galena and some letterhead…the two mean nothing without some concrete link…

  3. Judge Meyer’s thinking is VERY clear (according to this article).

    He is NOT ruling on the facts, or lack of facts; he is trying to determine IF he can appoint a special prosecuter, based on what he is told about who can or cannot investigate the sheriff. Blake can have all the “evidence” he wants for the trial, IF and when there is one, but NOW does not appear to be the time to present it.

  4. I think the abuse is his plastering KEITH NYGREN all over the busses, boats, snowmobiles, radar trailers etc.
    These are taxpayer owned property to feed his ego.

    can understand the one at the office where you enter or even that substation on Rte 14.

    But vehicles NO!.

  5. The official McHenry County Sheriff logo is a 5 pointed star, however, Nygren has chosen to replace the official 5 pointed star with his 7 pointed campaign logo star on everything the county owns using County money.

    He essentially turned every piece of County property into a campaign piece with County money.

    I think that is the issue.

  6. The number of points on a star? Really?

    How can any responsible adult propose we spend even one dollar of tax payer money paying for such an investigation?

    Time for some of the whiners in this county to grow up and put on their big boy pants.

  7. You think that Seipler will be the next Sheriff?

    How can someone as brillant as you not see the forest for the trees?

    Seipler has the same chance that Gus had (in the range of winning the lottery, back to back).

    I guess I will be pointing back to this post after the next election as another example of …. I never guess wrong.

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