First Electric Newspaper FOI Suit against Sheriff’s Department for Nygren Refusal to Relase Zinke Investigation Report Continues

McHenry County Courthouse

McHenry County Courthouse

I didn’t make it to the Courthouse Friday morning to listen to the hearing the Freedom of Information suit against McHenry County Sheriff Keith Nygren, et al, over his refusal to release the 100-page report on Undersheriff Andrew Zinke’s involvement in a DEA investigation involving a campaign contributor, but First Electric Newspaper Editor Pete Gonigam and Woodstock Advocate Editor Gus Philpott did.

The gist of the proceedings were that the Sheriff and Department employee Don Leist (late of the State’s Attorney’s Office) both requested that a Special Assistant State’s Attorney be appointed because they don’t think Lou Bianchi’s office will provide an adequate defense.

You can read the articles for more details:

For those who have not following the issue, Gonigam filed a Freedom of Information request with the Sheriff’s Department for the report on the investigation.

Nygren denied the request.

Gonigam appealed the denial to the Public Access Division of the Illinois Attorney General’s Office.

The Attorney General agreed that the Sheriff’s Department should release the report, but did not issue a binding opinion.

Nygren refused to release the report.

Gonigam filed suit in Circuit Court, the remedy prescribed by law.

The case is before Judge Thomas Meyer.

State statutes says it should be decided on an expedited basis.


First Electric Newspaper FOI Suit against Sheriff’s Department for Nygren Refusal to Relase Zinke Investigation Report Continues — 4 Comments

  1. Filing a Freedom of Information request for a report on a closed investigation should NOT be denied.

    As for Lou Bianchi’s office failing to provided an adequate defense, well that is true, that office is useless under Lou Bianchi’s leadership.

  2. Whats the matter Judge Thomas Meyer, too busy watching the Price is Right and Lets Make a Deal on CBS channel 2…..

    The report should be released immediately according to State law….

    There should be absolutely no hesitation….

    nothing to debate, just release the report……….

  3. I’ll bet that the State’s Attorney Office, as the statutory attorney for the sheriff, would tell Nygren to release the report, and Nygren knows that.

    Thus, Nygren and Leist whine that the SAO would not represent them fairly.

    I believe Gonigam’s suit names Nygren and Leist individually, in addition to the Sheriff’s Department.

    Why should the public pay to defend Nygren and Leist, individually?

    FOIA Officer Jan Weech was released as a defendant on Friday.

    As a loyal, faithful, trustworthy employee of the Sheriff’s Dept., does she do what she is told?

    Did she believe the report should be released?

    Was she told to “Use this exemption” and deny it?

    Maybe she’s not ready to get knocked into early retirement. (Mrs. Weech has always been complete and prompt in responding to my FOIA requests.)

    What odds would Jimmy the Greek give on that?

    What happens to employees at MCSD who stand up to Nygren? You know, if you’ve been reading here for months (years).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.