Suit Seeking to Force Keith Nygren to Follow Attorney General’s FOIA Recommendation to Release 100-Page Zinke DEA Report Delayed

Pete Gonigam is seen here with Yvonne Barnes.

Pete Gonigam is seen here with Yvonne Barnes.

First Electric Newspaper Editor Pete Gonigam filed a Freedom of Information request with the McHenry County Sheriff’s Department seeking documents about the investigation of Undersheriff Andy Zinke’s telling someone whose firm was getting a delivery which was apparently subject of a Drug Enforcement Administration probe about it.

Sheriff Keith Nygren denied Gonigam’s request.

Playing by the FOIA rules, Gonigam appealed to the Illinois Attorney General’s Office of Public Counsel.

He won.

The Attorney General’s Office recommended that Nygren release the investigatory report.

But Nygren has refused.

As allowed under the FOI Act, Gonigam took his request to court.

Wednesday, Judge Thomas Meyer held a hearing on the matter.

Sheriff”s Department Affirmative Action Officer Don Leist, who last worked for the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office, filed an “instanter” motion “for appointment of a special assistant State’s Attorney,” but he wouldn’t elaborate when asked.

Mention was made that each individual named in the suit needed his or her own attorney.

Someone said that the McHenry County Board wanted separate representation from that of the Sheriff.  The State’s Attorney, by law, represents both.

Gonigam’s attorney Mary Gardner pointed out that State law requires these Freedom of Information Act suits to be handed “expeditiously.”

So, what’s being hidden from Gonigam?

“It’s a binder [of] approximately 100 pages,” Leist revealed.

Gardner asked that the Judge require production of the document for review by the Judge as well as the exemption9s) in the FOI Act upon which Nygren bases his keeping the report secret.

Meyer said that he was “reluctant to engage in a substantive review until I [know whether there is an issue].”

The suit was put off until the Friday after next.

“We will get to the issue sooner, rather than later,” Meyer pledged.

Standing in front of the Judge were two Assistant State’s Attorneys–Norm Vinton and Brandy Quance–, Leist, Gardner, plus Sheriff Keith Nygren.


Suit Seeking to Force Keith Nygren to Follow Attorney General’s FOIA Recommendation to Release 100-Page Zinke DEA Report Delayed — 5 Comments

  1. Cal you seem to be making the leap now to stating as fact that Brian Goode was the “subject of a Drug Enforcement Administration probe”. Can you confirm this is your stance and what agency gave you this information? All I have seen from official sources to date was that he was a witness who voluntarily brought in potential evidence.

  2. I am glad to see their is a substantive report on the issue many openly doubted there was any at.

    As their is undoubtedly information on the original investigation as well as information about personnel files I believe it is appropriate that the County will require a court order to release it.

    Personnel file info is something any employer should resist handing over without a court order, if for instance their was any information about Sgt. Koziol’s disciplinary history in this report the County could be open themselves up to trouble.

    It seems Prims supporters support personnel file info being released without court order, it would be interesting to hear the candidates stance on this.

    Based on the police brutality ruling it seems like the Prim supporter stance would have documenting it as optional as long as you told someone else about one of the occurences?

  3. I don’t even live in your town, state, area…but you have a really corrupt bunch of thugs running the Sheriff dept. down there.

    Geeze…Blogovitch much ?

    Do what you want, how you want,when you want and the heck with the law….yup.

    The undersheriff helping your little-mans local, while a DEA is making a case; can BOTH the Undersheriff & obstructing the truth/justice system Sheriff go to jail too ?

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