Independent Candidate for Sheriff Jim Harrison Claims Republican Primary Candidate Bill Prim Ignored Des Plaines Police Beatings, GOP Candidate Bill Prim Replies

A press release from Independent candidate for McHenry County Sheriff Jim Harrison:

Sheriff’s Candidate Bill Prim Tied to Des Plaines Police Beatings!

Independent Sheriff’s candidate Jim Harrison is urging voters to examine an Arbitrator’s ruling [SEE ATTACHED] that found that, as a Des Plaines Police Commander, Bill Prim was on-scene and knew of numerous beatings of persons in police custody, some in handcuffs, and did nothing about it.

Jim Harrison

Jim Harrison

“Bill Prim is unfit for duty as Sheriff of McHenry County,” Harrison said.

“Prim was there, he was in charge, he saw and he knew that Officer John Bueno was brutally beating prisoners without any justification.”

“Prim failed to order Bueno to file reports;

  • he failed to investigate;
  • he failed to file reports himself;
  • he failed to preserve evidence;
  • he failed to take any action whatsoever.

“Instead, Prim praised Bueno for being “an aggressive officer” and even gave him good performance evaluations.”

Prim’s campaign asks people to “Join Bill Prim in returning honor, integrity and public trust in the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office.”

“But a candidate for Sheriff has to possess these attributes himself before he can instill them in others,” Harrison said.

Prim also claims that he will “Establish an impartial Internal Affairs office to monitor Sheriff’s employees and address misconduct swiftly and fairly.”

Yet time and time again, when confronted by serious misconduct against citizens committed by an officer in Prim’s command, Prim did nothing.

Prim’s stated plans for the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office are contrasted by his record of failures to address serious misconduct when he was a Police Commander in Des Plaines.

Politicians and other noted supporters of Prim include:

  • McHenry County State’s Attorney Lou Bianchi
  • Illinois State Senator Dan Duffy
  • Former U.S. Congressman Joe Walsh
  • Republican Committeeman Andrew Gasser
  • McHenry County Board Member Nick Provenzano
  • Gary Rabine/Rabine Group
  • Merryman Construction
  • Michael Schuch and Sons
  • Cancer Treatment Centers of America
  • Twice-fired Deputy Sheriff Zane Seipler

Harrison questioned, “How much information did these people know about Prim’s involvement in the ongoing Des Plaines police scandals, and when did they know it?

Harrison invited former Commander Prim “to explain his actions, his failures to act, and his testimony given on behalf of Officer John Bueno.”

Harrison said his committee will continue to investigate the matter further and will release additional information shortly.

= = = = =
What follows is Bill Prim’s response:


Republican Candidate for McHenry County Sheriff released the following statement Monday:

“I find it interesting that Mr. Harrison has had, until now, nothing to say about me publicly. [See “McHenry County Undersheriff Andy Zinke’s Giving the Finger in Crystal Lake Parade Brings Comments“]

“I am also not his opponent in the general election, as he is running as an independent and not in the Republican primary.

McHenry County Undersheriff Andrew Zinke salutes the crowd around me.

McHenry County Undersheriff Andrew Zinke salutes the Crystal Lake Independence Day crowd around me.

“But let Undersheriff Zinke generate some bad publicity for himself at a weekend parade and Mr. Harrison suddenly wakes from his slumber to hurl accusations at me, in fact to concoct an entire fairy tale based on an arbitrator’s ruling in a union grievance.

“I do not consider these two events unrelated.

“To the substance of his utterly baseless allegations: I was not on the scene of the incident that led to the arbitration ruling.

“In fact I was not even on duty at the time of the incident on August 12, 2010.

“It was my regular day off.

“When, on subsequent days, I was made aware of the allegation against Officer Bueno, I immediately notified my boss, Deputy Chief Mike Kozak.

“A Deputy Chief from another division, not mine, conducted the Internal Investigation.

Bill Prim

Bill Prim

“Furthermore, I was never charged or disciplined, not once in my 27-year career, for violations of the use of force either in the case at issue or any other case, nor for tolerating or condoning use of force violations in those under my command.

“I have never been sued in civil court by any alleged victim of brutality.

“In fact, the only person in 27 years who has ever connected me with police brutality is Mr. Harrison, who has never commanded law enforcement officers or deputies for a single day and has no knowledge of Des Plaines police reporting procedures.

“I may have more to say in the days ahead, but it was only late today that a 65-page arbitrator’s ruling was thrown at me.

“As an attorney, Mr. Harrison should be aware that arbitrations are only quasi-judicial proceedings, and do not have the same rules of evidence of a genuine civil or criminal proceeding.

“He should be careful about taking as gospel some unsupported allegations that arise in the course of an arbitration.

“He should also remind himself that duly licensed officers of the court are held to a higher standard of truthfulness than simple political candidates.

“Perhaps had Mr. Harrison delved further into this document, he might have found the following statements, taken verbatim from page 23 of the arbitrator’s report:

“Commander William Prim, the only witness the Union called to testify, was the Grievant’s supervisor prior to his termination (Tr. 546, 567).  Prim testified that he never condoned the use of unnecessary force against the arrestees, he never rewarded an officer for the use of unnecessary force, and he never gave the Grievant a positive performance evaluation as a signal to condone excessive or unnecessary force (Tr. 562 – 563).”


Independent Candidate for Sheriff Jim Harrison Claims Republican Primary Candidate Bill Prim Ignored Des Plaines Police Beatings, GOP Candidate Bill Prim Replies — 54 Comments

  1. So, the McHenry County sheriff’s election is heating up in July of 2013, with the primary 8 months away, and General Election well over a year away.

    I too, question the timing of Mr. Harrison’s news release, given he will not be on the ballot until November of 2014, and that’s assuming he gets on the ballot as an independent.

    But here is what is coming during the month of July — 2nd quarter campaign disclosure reports.

    We are now less than a week away from the campaign filing deadline for fundraising.

    Until those first ballots are cast, the real strength of a candidate lies in their ability to raise significant amounts of money.

    While the quarterly reports are less than a week from being filed, early indicators, mainly A-1 filings (contributions/loans to a candidate totaling $1,000 must be reported within 10 days), show Zinke with $8,000 in A-1 contributions for the 2nd quarter, Prim with $3,000, and Harrison with $1,000.

    The most interesting contributions for Zinke include $1,000 from Algonquin Township Highway Commissioner Bob Miller, and another $1,000 from former Algonquin Township Clerk, and McHenry County Board Member Marc Munaretto, both given last month.

    Follow the money, with fresh complete numbers to be made public by early next week.

  2. WOW!! Thank you Jim Harrison!!!

    People of McHenry county heard many days ago that you and Andy Zinke made a deal whereas that you will pound on Bill Prim to knock him out of the race in the primary and IF that happens and you win the election Zinke will be your Undersheriff and if Zinke wins the general election that doesn’t include Prim you will be his Undersheriff.

    WELL – you left no doubt now that this is your plan!!

  3. Jim Harrison – How does it feel to work for Nygren and Zinke!!

    Prim won’t even be your opponent until April of ’14 but you are SOOOOO scared of him now that you are already putting out completely false allegations against him!

    We know that is what the deal between you and Nygren/Zinke has forced you to do.

    It is also not surprising that you put out this pure BS a day after Zinke flipped the middle finger in front of a bunch of children at yesterday’s Crystal Lake Parade.

  4. It is not amazing that you first started out in this race as a Republican but once you realized that you could never, ever win you switched midstream to an independent?

    Do you really think voters can’t see through your terrible strategy??

  5. People are starting to ask me how Harrison took a medical leave and retirement from the McHenry County Sheriff’s office but then for years continued to run and instruct at a martial arts school…weird that you could do that right????

    Wonder what the coming months and FOIAs will show……..

  6. I wonder when Harrison will address the fact that he voted for Obama, TWICE in the last two elections and that is why he switched from a Republican candidate for Sheriff to an Independent because he was warned that the fact that he was a registered democrat was about to become public knowledge??

    What say you JIM???!!

    You’ve responded directly on this blog before!! We can’t wait to hear you explain your vote for OBAMA – TWICE!!!!!!!!!

    Waiting for a response!!

    Tick Tock Tick Tock!!!

  7. Yep Harrison is aligning himself with Nybren and Zinke.

    In fact, they are old friends.

    They go way back to the Gary Pack days.

    Say no to corruption and vote for Prim…

  8. Is this an attempt for a lawyer to count on the fact that non lawyers will not understand the legal language here and figure that people will believe what he says is in it??

    There is nothing in it that supports Harrison’s claim.

    My oldest is an attorney – says that YOU NEVER WANT A LAWYER FOR A SHERIFF.!!!

    This is proof positive.

  9. WOW just read this arbitrators ruling and there is some explosive stuff in there that doesn’t jive with Prim’s statement at all.

    It talks about multiple incidents on multiple dates and yet Prim points to only one incident saying that was his day off?

    That not being the only factual discrepancy, Prim’s handlers should really have read the ruling before putting out their statement.

    With this kind of ugly ruling in his past, no wonder the Prim crowd showed such desperation with their nasty attacks on Zinke’s family.

    Also, Harrison a Zinke supporter?

    Holy tin foil hat, Batman!

    Is Prim that clueless to the local landscape or is that just a very clumsy attempt to mislead?

  10. Jim Harrison’s Response to Oncoming Storm comment: 070813 @10:30 p.m.

    The strength of a political candidate lies in their character and choices, not in their ability to generate campaign contributions.

    We are apparently from different cultures.

    The truth is never untimely!

  11. Jim Harrison’s Response to Truth comment: 070813 @ 10:45 p.m.

    You should consider a new handle; how about “Lies” or “Spinner” or something more truthful.

    So you and the public are clear, I have made no deals with any other Sheriff’s candidate concerning the Sheriff’s race!

  12. Jim Harrison’s Response to Truth comment: 070813 @ 10:46 p.m.

    Again, consider a name change; this one does not fit you.

    I’m self-employed; I don’t work for anyone other than the clients I choose to represent.

    All of the information contained in the press release about Bill Prim is taken from the sworn testimony, the arbitrator’s 65-page ruling, and other related documents.

    You might also review Illinois Supreme Court Rule 224.

    Please refrain from accusing me of making false allegations, or I will be forced to use Supreme Court Rule 224 to identify you.

    Then we can talk face to face.

  13. Jim Harrison’s Response to Truth comment: 070813 @ 10:47 p.m.

    Looks like you’ve really gone off the deep end on this one.

    I did not take a medical leave and/or retirement from the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office.

    Following my squad car accident in November of 1988, I was on worker’s compensation total temporary disability status until my resignation from the Sheriff’s Office in April of 1989.

    I withdrew my pension from the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund at the time that I resigned and I applied it toward my first semester’s tuition in law school.

    I did instruct martial arts for many years.

    Feel free to come by for a free lesson any time.

  14. Jim Harrison’s Response to Truth comment: 070813 @ 10:57 p.m.

    The reason we have a private voting process in this country is so people can choose to keep private their personal political choices.

    Please respect my rights and I’ll respect yours.

  15. Jim Harrison’s Response to Duncan McHenry comment: 070813 @ 11:18 p.m.

    Sorry Duncan, no alignment with Nygren and Zinke here.

    I first met Zinke last summer and although I initially supported Nygren when he was appointed Sheriff in 1997, I stopped supporting him when I saw that he had run afoul.

    I’ve only dealt with Nygren professionally through my representation of the Sheriff’s Office under the authority of the State’s Attorney’s Office.

    Again, you might benefit from a review of Illinois Supreme Court Rule 224.

    You throw the word “corruption” around pretty freely.

    I take the word “corruption” very seriously and so should you.

    Enough said.

  16. Jim Harrison’s Response to Back At You comment: 070813 @ 11:31 p.m.

    Have your oldest sit down and read and explain the arbitration ruling to you.

    I will provide a synopsis of the arbitration opinion in the very near future.

    As to your other point, nearly a quarter of all Sheriffs in Illinois are lawyers, and there’s a good reason for that growing trend; the job is complex and it requires a working knowledge of all of the laws that impact the Sheriff’s Office.

    Illinois statutes reference the Sheriff over 1,600 times.

  17. Prim was a Commander of a unit. NOT the police chief.

    A Commander is under a chief.

    The problem person here was MIKE KOVICH.

    These incidents were NOT with Prim’s unit.

    BUTseriuosly — you are spinning badly.

  18. “FYI”… You really need to read the ruling.

    Your claim these incidents were not in Prim’s unit are in direct contradiction to the facts in the ruling.

    Not sure if you are being misled or are doing the misleading but reading the actual ruling of fact is not that difficult.

    The officer that was involved in these multiple beatings of citizens was ruled he could go back to work in part because of the inaction by his commanders and the good reviews he continued to get.

    The ruling seems to makes it clear not only was Prim in the chain of command of this officer he actually was a witness called by this officer in the hearing that helped this dangerous officer gain the right to return to work.

  19. Mr. Harrison, I don’t think your going to gather support by threatening lawsuits to people who disagree with you and/or support Bill.

    I for one was one of many who support Bill because Zinke is a cancer that needs to be cut from the county.

    If Bill was to win in March, I would sit back, listen to his ideas and your ideas and vote for the best candidate.

    I think their are many out here who think the same way.

    After your ill timed attack and the way you have tried to embarrass Lou Bianchi, Zane Seipler and the other donors, who also believe that a Zinke free general election is the goal, I will be changing my moniker.

    I no longer believe in ABZ.

    Now I’m ABZH.

  20. I have been reading these comments, I see that Jim Harrison likes the idea of lawsuits and threats . . . like Nygren.

    Zinke thinks Porn is healthy, like Greg Pyle was enjoying in his position of authority.

    Simple as that!

  21. I think Mr. Harrison has a thin skin.

    I think that statement to be a fair comment and not subject to his threats of a lawsuit.

    His response is a factor to consider in his candidacy, whether he has the temperment to run the Sheriff’s office appropriately.

    Mr. Zinke’s one-fingered salute supports that Zinke lacks the temperment.

    Mr. Harrison’s comments tend to also show that he cannot deal with the criticism that will surely come to whoever is elected county sheriff.

  22. We surely don’t want a guy like Harrison who threatens people with supreme court rule 224…..

    Clearly, he looks bad threatening people with the law…

    Candidates with integrity do not threaten them, they respect their right to free speech………


    I have had first hand experience with corruption and bribes….

    And, I have lived in this community long enough to know who the players are……..


  23. Jimbo, if your such a great lawyer then why would you want to be sheriff?

    Would seem like a pay cut to me.

    You did a great job for the Woodstock cops with that eavesdropping case.

    Have you ever won a case?

    Didn’t you get about 2 million tax payer dollars during the Gary Pack days?

  24. Jimbo, you want to have Tony “the castrator” as your undersheriff.

    Nice choice! I’m sure that will boost morale with the deputies.

    Didn’t the Pavlin brutality case happen under his command.

    The charges were dropped and they got a nice settlement.

    You point fingers at Prim, but how many lawsuits has Tony been part of?

  25. I will be sitting back and watching.

    Harrison playing Leap Frog and Zinke giving the community his Salute.

    It must not be easy trying to make wrong right.

    I think we are going to see a lot more chatter on their part.

  26. Jimbo, did you vote for Obongo???

    That says a lot right there.

    You want to be sheriff in this republican county.

    Go to Cook county you DEM.

  27. I think you’re all getting off point.

    Whether you like or dislike Harrison isn’t the big story here.

    Go ahead and vent at the messenger if you like, but that won’t change the fact that Prim’s got a lot of explaining to do.

    Let’s not turn our back on our responsibilities like Prim did in DesPlaines.

    I read the award by the arbitrator and I have questions that I want answered by Prim.

    I bet I’m not alone.

  28. Jimbo, free karate lessons huh.

    That sounds a little like you would like to fight.

    I would like to see you in the ring with Prim’s guy McNamara.

    I’d pay big bucks for that ticket.

    We could have a walrus spearing competition between rounds.

    Oh wait, there would be only one partial round.

  29. Followed chain of command, reported it and the guy was fired.

    Making assumptions, Mr. Harrison makes an ass —-

  30. Jimbo, do you have a home in Wisconsin like Nygren?

    Watch your tax exemptions so you don’t double dip like some people.

    You could be the next cell phone sheriff.

    See if you can pick up a condo or something in Florida if you don’t have one yet.

    Talk to the walrus about how to mortgage it.

    He’s great at it.

    Being sheriff could be a one day a year thing, like a birthday.

    You could still teach law, do karate, and be a lawyer and make an extra $150K a year plus a car and benefits.


  31. How after reading the ruling can Prim supporters be so delusional of stating this officer was not part of Prim’s unit?

    Did you not read the facts in the ruling at all?

    You guys really should stick to attacking your opponents families, this whole debating facts thing seems to escape you.

  32. Here are some facts for you “ATSerious”:

    Officer Bueno was part of a specialized unit when he used force in the police department one evening.

    His Supervisor, Sgt. Holdman was there and advised the on duty Commander Bill Prim who then instantly advised his own supervisor.

    Bueno was later removed from the specialized unit and he was assigned to the command of Bill Prim.

    He was under Prim’s command for such a short period of time that there was not another evaluation done by Prim’s personnel because Bueno was terminated.

  33. A little research will show that the “good” evaluation for this guy WAS NOT FROM BILL PRIM but another supervisor.

    Spinning us dizzy!!

    Just saw a bogus comment on the NWH about that “good” evaluation. DID NOT COME FROM PRIM.

    Thank you truth.

    Solid info.

  34. It is interesting that even though the ruling refers to multiple specific incidents the Prim handlers keep referring back to one specific incident.

    Either they are very very dim or they are purposefully obfuscating.

  35. So what you guys are actually saying is when Prim learned citizens were getting beat downs when in custody his sole action was to tell another supervisor?

    He didn’t document it in a report?

    He didn’t demand that to know why after a few years nothing had been done?

    It took the attorney for a retired officer reporting it to the city manager for any discipline to happen?

    I keep hearing a couple people point to Prim’s Command experience, but it really doesn’t sound like he was responsible or taking any leadership in protecting citizens from brutality.

    In the ruling it states in one of that Sergeants reports that Prim was present and aware on at least one occasion?

    Surely he can produce the report he wrote on the incident or any recommendation for discipline when he learned citizens were being assaulted?

  36. I agree there may be a benefit to having an attorney as Sheriff.

    Perhaps there is a conservative woman attorney who might consider a run for the office?

    Let’s draft her to run as an independent candidate!

  37. While all of the boys are throwing sand at each other in the sand box, there is a smart woman watching and smiling with her arms crossed.

  38. I think there was a nice lady, who worked in the States Attorney’s office . . . she might be the right one.

    I think her last name was Stone . . . for the life of me I can not remember her first name. Can someone help me out?

  39. Hard fact of McHenry County, no Independent is going to win a county wide office.

    In 2014 is a mid term election and the only people that are going to come out in force this time around are Republicans in this county.

    Dems wont care enough to bother, its not a Presidential year.

    If Independents cared enough we would have a three party system.

    Sad fact but reality is reality.

    A three way general election just means the Republican wins handily.

  40. Concealed carry would have fixed this problem right on the spot.

  41. “Hey, aretheyserious, Harrison is flat our wrong or lying when he said Prim was on duty and on scene in the August 12, 2010 case.

    Wrong or lying.

    Prim says he was off-duty.

    If Harrison was serious, he would discredit that statement by an authoritative source in Des Plaines.

    But he won’t because he can’t.

    THEREFORE, why should we believe ANYTHING else Harrison says?

    Don’t tell me to look somewhere else when you LIED to get in the door.”

  42. As has been pointed out…it is very telling that of multiple incidents of citizens being assaulted that Prim supporters keep pretending it was just one incident stating in that one incident was Prim’s day off.

    The fact is yes Harrison said the ruling said Prim was on the scene of at least one of the beatings, in reading it that is certainly what it seems to say.

    Your attempts to say that Harrison said he was on scene for that one specific attack are simply dishonest.

    It’s not pretty when the Prim campaign cry’s liar when Harrison never even said what they are accusing him of.

  43. I wonder if you would refer to the page in the document to which you refer.

  44. like you Jim but why do I feel uncomfortable when you offer free martial arts lessons…touch me and do time….Clearly the candidate you want to face is Andrew. I know you have no deal going on here…..As an independent you need to ensure the stronger republican candidate is defeated so your chances as an Independent are better….simple politics….

  45. BS now (apprapo handle)Where is your smoking gun? It ain’t there Prim is clean on this or can’t you read …..objectively…
    You probably think there are 2 times the allegations than actually cited…
    Or did you expect a wikilinks response to a simple allegation?

  46. If there are no accusations….then why are we here?…

    Why was Jim’s allegations featured in the NWH?

  47. As a Crystal Lake Councilman for more than a couple of year… I am appalled the one finger salute was displayed to the residents of my home town in our home town parade…

    I asked reps at city hall if we had received any apology yesterday and learned we did not.

    Hopefully an apology will be forthcoming…

  48. Not to me and I won’t take that call …but do contact our City staff with your response to this unfortunate incident

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