Skinner Ethics Complaint about Zinke Political Email Found Insufficient

Meeting this afternoon at the Administrative Building, the McHenry County Ethics Commission voted 4-0 that Cal Skinner’s ethics complaint against Undersheriff Andy Zinke was not sufficient.

The Commission gave no idea to the public or the parties why they reached that decision. All discussion was behind closed doors.

No Commission member offered a reason for his or her vote against finding the complaint adequate to proceed.

Zinke was represented by law partners Mark Gummerson and Rebecca Lee.

Mark Gummerson and Andy Zinke

Mark Gummerson and Andy Zinke

Gummerson argued that he should be allowed to put on a defense (he used the phrase “evidentiary hearing”) for Zinke, but the Commission only allowed his verbal comments and a written motion which was not provided me until after the hearing had concluded.

To put a chilling effort on others who might be thinking about filing Ethics Complaints for campaigning on county time, Gummerson said he was going to ask “for sanctions of up to $5,000 for filing a frivolous complaint.”

After being denied what Gummerson called “due process,” he said he had “witnesses who will rebut anything that Mr. Skinner has put on.”

After the decision, Sheriff Keith Nygren said that he had directed Zinke to send the email to all Board members because I was denigrating his Department.

Gummerson claimed, “Mr. Skinner sent an anonymous email with a picture to each of the twenty-four County Board members.”

Later he seemed to soften that charge by asking, “Did Mr. Skinner send that photograph to the County Board members?”

Gummerson urged the Ethics Commission “not be a pawn in Mr. Skinner’s political campaign.”

Another of Gummerson points was that I had not specified any specific subsection found in the Ethics ordinance.

When Gummerson was finished Lee argued that my complaint did “not allege that this email campaigns in any active way”

“[Zinke} justifiably felt compelled to respond to the picture”

“His reference …of his being a candidate is [not politically prohibited] activity”

Gus Philpott asked and was given permission to address the Commission.

He asked whether Gummerson’s representation of Zinke was as “Undersheriff or as a future candidate?”

The question went unanswered.

Four of five members of the McHenry County Ethics Commission met today. Besides the members, County Board Liaison John Jung was in attendance.

Four of five members of the McHenry County Ethics Commission met today. Besides the members, County Board Liaison John Jung was in attendance.

Members of the local Ethics Commission are

  • Thomas B. Spencer, Chairman
  • Scott Hartman
  • Melissa M. Hernandez
  • Cherie R. Rickert
  • John White

Hartman did not attend the meeting.

= = = = =
Woodstock Advocate Editor Gus Philpott wrote two stories on the hearing entitled, Ethics Commission blinks and “Dilbert on ethics – don’t miss it.” Keven Craver of the Northwest Herald wrote a story entitled, “Ethics commission tosses charge against McHenry County sheriff candidate.” Zane Seipler posted this: “Open Letter to Cal Skinner.” The First Electric Newspaper weighed in with “County Ethics Commission Exonerates Zinke.”

= = = = =
You can read Zinke’s email and see the photos I took of him at the Crystal Lake 4th of July Parade in the reprinted article below:

Do Pictures Lie? Zinke “Victimized” by “a Local Blogger”? – You Decide

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Below is an email from Undersheriff Andy Zinke sent from his place of work…even though he talks about his “candidacy” and “my run for office.”

I believe campaigning on the taxpayers’ dime is against the law.

(Sentences in some paragraphs have separated into additional paragraphs to make the email easier to read. Nothing has been removed.)

The first of five photos of Andy Zinke at the Crystal Lake Parade.

The first of five photos of Andy Zinke at the Crystal Lake Parade.

From: Andrew Zinke <>
To: [McHenry County Board Members]
Sent: Wednesday, July 10, 2013 3:40 PM
Subject: Photograph

Recently, I was victimized by a local blogger who posted a picture of me that he created a false story around.

[See original story on Sunday, July 7: “Politicians Appear at Crystal Lake Independence Day Parade.”

[See follow-up story on Monday, July 8: “McHenry County Undersheriff Andy Zinke’s Giving the Finger in Crystal Lake Parade Brings Comments.”

[The five photos I took of Zinke are posted within his email.]

Many of you have had pictures of yourselves taken out of context, or in a negative position, posted on a blog.

Photo number two of five taken of Andy Zinke at the Crystal Lake Parade.

Photo number two of five taken of Andy Zinke at the Crystal Lake Parade.

After being targeted and victimized, I can now say I understand why so many people loath him.

Other than to acknowledge that I was apparently holding the roof of a vehicle with my middle finger instead of all my fingers, there isn’t much more to say.

I received cheers and applause throughout the parade from hundreds of people on behalf of the Sheriff’s Office and I was honored to be a part of such a rich tradition. I have received several calls that you are now receiving pictures at your home or place of business.

The third of five photos of Andy Zinke at the Independence Day Parade in Crystal Lake.

The third of five photos of Andy Zinke at the Independence Day Parade in Crystal Lake.

Since announcing my candidacy [emphasis added], I have been accused by local bloggers of working with a drug cartel, corruption, and now, publicly driving down the Crystal Lake Parade giving everyone “the finger.”

The personal attacks by my opponent and his supporters on my family, my friends, my wife, my children, my in-laws, co-workers, and county board members is despicable and have no place in a legitimate race.

This type of disingenuous behavior is troubling in so many ways. It is mean spirited and takes away from the real issues facing McHenry County. Please know I remain steadfast in my commitments to both the Sheriff’s Office and McHenry County as a whole.

The fourth of five photos taken of Andy Zinke last Sunday.

The fourth of five photos taken of Andy Zinke last Sunday.

During my 25 year career of chasing and apprehending criminals nothing has ever been so dangerous as my run for office. [emphasis added] I have not publicly commented or lowered myself to the depths in which my opponent and his supporters operate.

I will remain open, honest and ethical; of that you can be assured.

The fifth of five photos taken of Andy Zinke at Crystal Lake's Independence Day Parade.

The fifth of five photos taken of Andy Zinke at Crystal Lake’s Independence Day Parade.

I know many of you have been victimized by similar lies and accusations and I respect your professionalism and guidance throughout the political process.

I would like to thank you for your words of encouragement and support.

Andy Zinke
Zinke finger photo email ID 7-10-13

= = = = =
I only cited two places where Zinke was obviously campaigning. On his blog, Zane Seipler found a lot more.

Take a look.


Skinner Ethics Complaint about Zinke Political Email Found Insufficient — 54 Comments

  1. MARK GUMMERSON you have lost all credibility…

    Yep one of Nygren and Zinkes favorite attorneys…….

    As for the Ethics Committee how much are they paid for not doing their jobs?

    They should be removed and the tax payers should demand it.

    An accounting of their current salaries would be appropriate…..

    We are counting on our new County Sheriff to get rid of them, because clearly they don’t know how to do the right thing………


    Politics in Mchenry County will “NEVER CHANGE” unless our tax payers step up to the plate and refuse to vote for ZINKE and his entourage…………

  2. So, the ethics commission is as worthless as the Merit Commission.

    As long as Nygren says something is ok, it is??

    I do not think that the laws have that exception.

  3. Zinke has also lost “ALL CREDITABILITY”..

    His campaign gets worse and worse, as time marches forward.

    Speaking of marching, Zinke appears to be the only one representing him at the parades these days.

    In comparison, Prim has a strong following of volunteers.

    Whats the matter Zinke you couldn’t even get your wife to sit next to you in the County vehicle you drove in the parade?

    It’s ok, she should be embarrassed.

    Quite frankly, you should also be embarrassed for giving your middle finger to Cal Skinner in a public parade where there were families, the elderly and young children…


    If the Ethics Committee can’t hold you both accountable the tax payers will…..

    No Votes for Andy Zinke….

    Demand change in how our County is run and Vote for Bill Prim……

  4. I had an excellent time at the Meet and Greet held in Cary by Bob Miller, the Algonquin Township Highway Commissioner.

    The Meet and Greet turned into a celebration in another victor for our new McHenry County Sheriff, Andrew Zinke!

    The Commission members offered no reason for their vote because it’s called commonsense.

    Cal Skinner gave them his best shot and it was just not good enough.

    What real blew any chances Cal Skinner had in his complaint was when Gus Philpott asked and was given permission to address the Commission.

    Everyone knows after his humiliated defeat in his run for McHenry County Sheriff in November 2010 when Sheriff Keith Nygren squashed him like a bug on a windshield with only 4,638 votes to Sheriff Nygren’s 53,791 votes, that he is an angry and resentful man that is still having a difficult time to accept his humiliating defeat.

  5. “Fukoku” you are a “CUCKOO” fly away.

    Everyones knows you are a Mchenry County Sheriffs officer and one of Zinkes followers.

    You always come up with these non sense reasons for everything and anything….

    I Know Gus and he holds no resentments and is not an angry man for being defeated…

    I hear Zinke has assigned specific officers to read the blogs and report back to Zinke about what everyone is writing about him on the blogs..

    Trying to do ‘DAMAGE CONTROL”

    Well forget it, because the “DAMAGE has already been done and Zinke has no one to thank but himself.

    He is like a wrecking ball with no ability to stop. He just continues wrecking and ruining his chances for election……..

    Yep, some insiders do talk to me and I hear Zinke is not a popular man, even within his own regime…….

    SAD isn’t it?…

    And, I thought clowns and circuses were suppose to be entertaining and put a smile on your face…..

    Not so, when it comes to the “ZINKE CIRCUS”

  6. Mark Gummerson overwhelmed the Ethics Commission by pleading his case during the Public Comment period.

    The Chairman should have cut him off and told him to hold his defense, until the hearing started.

    If you watched the expressions and the posture of the Commissioners, their insecurity was clear.

    The “prosecution” never got up to bat.

    Gummerson grabbed control of the meeting.

    And he accomplished his goal – to get Zinke off the hook, at least on this complaint.

  7. Duncan, I am not surprised at all that you know Gus Philpott because the both of you are idiots.

    You must be one of his clients from his hypnotherapy practice and it is now obvious that you are under his influence.

    The both of you shoot off your mouths and nothing but BS comes out with brainless comments.

    You think you know who I am and when the day comes when you really do find out who I am, you will be shocked and feel like an idiot.

  8. Fuk U, was there another nine people at that meet the clown event.

    I’m sure Miller ordered his township boys to attend.

    Did the walrus perform any tricks for the crowd.

    Did Andy flip the bird to everyone.

    Any talk of setting up another useless substation any where.

    I hear the walrus gave Andy permission to break the rules.

    I guess that makes it ok then, huh.

  9. The expressions and the posture of the Commissioners was not because they were insecure, it was because they already knew that the complaint was horse crap.

  10. Fuk U , it is obvious you are under Andy’s desk. I already feel like you’re an idiot.

  11. “Now” “Now” Fukoku don’t you have a gun to go polish or maybe a pair of Zinke’s shoes, he needs for an upcoming parade?…

    Now, don’t shine those shoes too brightly or Zinke may get the idea he is basking in the sun.

    Watch out for Zinkes wrecking ball.

    Though, knowing you, you may just stand in its path and get squashed like a bug…..

    You may want to try some of the marijuana from Rita Corporation to ease your pain……..

    If Andy Zinke told you to jump off a cliff, you would do it…….

    Bye Officer…

  12. Mark Gummerson pulled the same thing about $5,000 sanctions against a person raising a complaint, when the Election Board heard a complaint when Perry Moy was running against Jack Franks several years ago. After the Board ruled that Moy had not violated Election rules (by voting from an address at which he did not live), Gummerson asked the Board to assess the cost of the proceedings against the man who made the complaint.

    That man’s Chicago attorney told the Board that to do so would have a chilling effect on anyone in the future who considered filing a complaint. The Board wisely turned Gummerson down.

    The Ethics Commission here needs a lot of training and needs to display some backbone. They should have proceeded with the hearing, heard the evidence, listened to Gummerson, asked Zinke under oath whether Nygren really okayed his contact with the Board before the email was written, and then considered their decision. The Public Comment period was not the time for Gummerson’s pitch, but he got away with it.

  13. Hey Butt-Queer, thanks for asking.

    The event was excellent and there was no one performing any tricks for the crowd because you never show up.

    What happened?

  14. God only knows what “Fukoku” is doing under Zinkes desk………….

    He couldn’t just be polishing his shoes?

    Could he?

    That badge is suppose to make him a “BIG POWERFUL MAN” Isn’t it?

    Fukoku, please return to the Cuckoo’s nest……

  15. Fuk U, I only perform for crowds over 10 people. Are you tired of performing for Andy yet? Watch your head, that desk could hurt.

  16. Fuk U, are you and Sum Ding Dong going out for sum yung guy after the event.

    Bring your ginsu knife set.

    Let me know when the next meet and greet is.

    I’ll show up and double the attendance.

  17. I guess the Undie-Sheriff has “Special Needs”, he has to have two Attorneys and Nygren with him.

    They must feel there is more to hide that we don’t know about.

    Forget the big boy pants and ethics . . . Gummerson will laugh all the way to the bank.

  18. Why didn’t this commission say grace over Bianchi’s …issue…before we paid out all the cash?

  19. Wow…

    The class of the county is truly on display in this comment section.

    The Prim Campaign where homophobic slurs and childlike name calling masquerades as intelligent policy discourse.

    Besides the petty complaints, you guys are actually managing to find the area below the gutter in politics.

    Don’t you guys have someone’s family to target with your bullying?

  20. Accusations were made against Sheriff Keith Nygren and Undersheriff Andrew Zinke of racial profiling, and you, Butt-Queer are making remarks about my people.

    All I have to say to you is Shouri!

  21. Sorry Butt-Queer and Dunce-can, they won’t let you in at the next meet and greet because all pets are left outside at the door.

  22. Hey Butt-Queer, are you implying racial profiling against homosexual by stating “Fuk U, are you and Sum Ding Dong going out for sum yung guy after the event?” Baka!

  23. Racial profiling against homosexuals?

    Kim, go to bed already.

    You may sound smarter in the morning.

  24. Fukoku, I get the Prim crowd likes to call childish names and turn others names/profiles into slurs.

    It gets frustrating, but please don’t stoop to their level.

    Zane will just act all proud that he got you to respond to the childish banter and then go after someones family to see if he can get you angrier while the rest of the Prim crowd stands behind him snickering.

    Don’t take the bait, and let them show their true selves.

    As bad as it is to be the childish name calling bully it is worse to let someone on your side slip down that road out of frustration with out trying to catch it.

    Keep up the good fight and let’s leave the childish name calling and homophobic slurs to them.

  25. The Prim crowd likes childish names!!!

    How about Mrs. Zinke screaming foul language at parades aimed at Zinke’s challengers.


    People were appalled and boood her.

    Zinke and his wife are just being who they REALLY are.

  26. Showing up late to the show here and boy am I disappointed.

    This comment section is shaping up to be worse than Reddit or 4chan.

    I can’t believe the degree to which my unofficial colleague, Fukoku, and Duncan and ButtQueeriously have gone to dismiss and project outward hate to each other.

    It’s really just sad.

    This country needs civil discourse, not civil disruption.

    Light hearted jokes are funny, like when Duncan asked if my favorite shows were Price is Right and Let’s Make a Deal the other day.

    That’s funny and I know that Duncan and ButtQueeriously are just chiding along as well when they post little things like that.

    But this, this crossed a line.

    Cal, I really am truly sorry for contributing to the negativity in this blog shifting to hostile saber rattling but I take no responsibility for the politically incorrect, petty dialogue and racist/homophobic speech of the aforementioned usernames.

    This is not the America I signed up for. This is not the Democracy I signed up for.

    This is not civil discourse.

    Fukoku, Duncan, ButtQueeriously, can we try and put our differences aside and focus on the issues, not being spiteful and accusatory or using name calling, or making false claims?

    Duncan, can we stop the personal attacks and ad hominum arguments?

    Fukoku, can we stay away from changing ButtQueeriously’s name to Butt-Queer?

    ButtQueeriously, can we not make homophobic comments?

    Matt put it best. Let us act like adults. Thank you.

  27. I agree butseriouslynow, I did stoop to their level and I will restrain myself in the future.

  28. You are correct Sum Ting Wong, I did cross the line as it became difficult to restrain myself as I became under hostile fire. I am guilty of taking a counter defensive position as I was surrounded by hostiles and personal attacks.

  29. Sum? I am shocked that someone would use MY NAME (From 2009 and beforehand on Pogo dot com) in a County blog.

  30. Fuk U, “counter defensive position” and “hostile and personal attacks”.

    You sound like Andy’s email to the county board.

    Are you Ginsu Kim ?

    Is that why you use the Asian sounding name.

    Sum, and your name sure sounds like you are mocking Asians.

    I will make my new name “Aretheybutfukserious”.

    I combined the names of the same idiots spouting the same BS propaganda.

    Have an ABZ (anyone but Zinke)day!

  31. “…This is not the America I signed up for. This is not the Democracy I signed up for. This is not civil discourse…”

    Spoken by an anonymous coward- good job, (insert ignorant pseudo-Asian pseudonym here).

    Because democracy is all about anonymous people attempting to defend public agency employees…

  32. Fuk: Keep it up my friend.

    Who knows?

    Folks might start learning something! 🙂

    John Lovaas: Wow. I’m ignorant? Get out of your media bubble and you may laugh once in a while as evidenced by this link.

    By the way, I never said, “anonymous people attempting to defend public agency employees” is Democracy, so don’t twist my words to fit your hateful agenda.

    Though, I believe you were being sarcastic, in which case, well done!

    I would say, though, that the internet is the new medium for civil discourse seeing as groups like Anonymous have been successful as a hacker/human rights/media collective – all through the internet, anonymously, I might add.

    Are they cowards?

  33. Buttqueeriously, I am honored by being compared to Undersheriff Andrew Zinke, thank you.

    Who is Ginsu Kim, Baka?

  34. To my good friend Sum Ting Wong, I will keep up the fight with the facts in my attempt to educate the misleaders.

    However, I believe that task is futile as they are blinded by their anger of the facts.

    Undersheriff Andrew Zinke will become our new McHenry County Sheriff and they can’t stop that fact.

  35. “Anonymous cowards”?

    Many of us would be happy to put our names out their if the anti sheriff/Prim crowd was just targeting us.

    However families are being targeted by these bully’s.

    It is not cowardice to keep ones family out of a bully’s targeting it is just good judgement.

    Cowardice is the targeting of families and even worse the enabling by those tactics by standing silently behind those bully’s snickering at those attacks on the family.

    When the other side lacks that commons decency it is simply prudent to protect ones family.

    I get the attempt to out many of us so our spouses, spouses family and kids can be targeted.

    Hey maybe such family attacks could get one of our family members to react and then you can blame them for the nastiness…oh wait you already are doing that to the Zinke family.

    The attacks on the family disgust me but you enablers are the true cowards in this race.

  36. “Fuk” “Sum” ….You are both Zinkes Sheriffs officers trying to do ‘DAMAGE CONTROL”

    You speak nothing but nonsense.

    Neither of you have any credibility..

    Go back to the “Cuckoos Nest” or the “Zinke Circus”

    Can’t wait to see what Zinke does wrong in the next parade.

    Not much left, but we will leave it to Zinke to figure out.

    Hope it is just as entertaining as the last parade Zinke appeared in.

    Let’s see how many actual volunteers Zinke has to stand by him or walk during the parade.

    Will his wife actually show up?

    Probably not..

    He will never have as many supporters and volunteers as Prim..

  37. Zinke and company is a perfect example of Murphy’s Law . . . like I said, Gummerson will laugh all the way to the bank.

  38. isn’t Becca Lee, Alg Road Supervisor Bob Miller’s daughter?

    Miller is supporting Zinke.

  39. Let’s see what goes wrong at the next parade…

    Murphy is Zinke’s greatest supporter…….

    In fact, he is his only supporter………

  40. If Zinke had “Clean Hands”, he would not have needed all that came to Justify him . . .

  41. Fukoko Kyochei & Sum ting wong.

    You have made some delusional statements about Zinke and attacks on his family ? Nice try.
    From what i have read, they were brought on by the clown himself.

    Now, lets stop b.s. around. Would you like me to show you exactly why Mr. Zinke should not be Sheriff ? ..Just give me the green light,

  42. Interesting. so basically all the attacks on the female members of Zinke’s family’s are because “they asked for it”? Of course we are targeting them and it’s their fault we are. Keep classy Team Prim.

  43. Based on the openness to target family’s by the Prim crowd, It is a bit chilling to see the mentioning of a Zinke supporter above and then the direct call out of who his daughter is by name.

    Whether an indirect warning or just clumsy out loud plotting it certainly calls out what seems to be a consistent thought process in that current crowd.

    He supports the man on the issues, who really cares about calling out who his daughter by name? Disgusting.

  44. Targeting of Zinkes family and now calling a supporters daughter out by name.

    Gee, why would anyone not backing Prim possibly want to keep some level of anonymity if they have a family…really not that big of a mystery is it? Disgusting.

  45. Fuk U, “ginsu Kim is his wife”. Ask around why she had to resign from MCSD. Wasn’t Zinke married when he started dating his subordinate? Any domestic issues at the home? I’m sure there would be police reports if there was a “stolen vehicle” situation or something.
    Gummerson always seems to be around when some scumbag needs to be defended. I guess it takes one to defend one. And yes Rebecca is Bob Miller’s daughter. The same guy who had the meet the clown event. I guess he owes Nygren some favors.

  46. “Arethey”, could you please describe all the personal attacks on the clown’s family. Zinke is running for office so he is fair game. His wife swears at public events and gets pissed off when her picture is taken, so she is fair game now. His wife’s sister is in the porn business, not sure what would embarrass someone who has pictures taken of themselves with a dildo up their cooch and posts it online.

  47. Hey the facts state, not delusional, just the facts.

    As for giving you the green light for your BS, no thanks.

  48. I heard the only clown’s in town is from the Prim’s Circus with Mr. Corruption himself; Louis Bianchi leading you clown’s blowing his whistle to the path of corruption.

  49. Butt-Queer, you have crossed the line again you Baka!

    It’s obvious that YOU are choking on your dildo as YOU once again show us all how unbalanced YOU are to bring Andrew Zinke’s wife’s sister into this.

    YOU are an angry bitter snake that crawls to no end to harm anyone to get your way.

    YOU need some serious help to make peace with yourself to live a happier life.

  50. You are keeping it classy Team Prim.

    It’s sad you guys are actually proud to have targets siblings and kids and perhaps got a rise out of a candidates wife.

    Keep the heads high you targeted the extended family for personal attacks and now think anyone who calls out that disgusting behavior makes themselves fair game to be targeted.

    All class, Team Prim.

    That is the leadership this county needs.

  51. “aretheydelirious”, what kids being targeted? Who said I’m team Prim? I’m on team ABZ! You’re a douchebag.

    Fuk U, What’s with the Baka nonsense? Speak English. I’m unbalanced? You need to meet “Ginsu Kim” if you want to see unbalanced. Just look in the mirror and there she is. If it were someone in Prim’s family that was a porn star and was supporting him, you guys would be all over it.

  52. As for your statement: “If it were someone in Prim’s family that was a porn star and was supporting him, you guys would be all over it.”

    YOU are SO incorrect!

    I would NEVER lower myself to that level to dishonor one’s family.

    I don’t have that much hate inside me to bring myself to expose his sister-in-law who had chosen the wrong path in living her life.

    We all have family members that we are not proud of that has dishonor our families, so why rub their faces into a situation that they have no control of.

    When you stated that: “Zinke is running for office so he is fair game.”


    When you stated that: “His wife swears at public events and gets pissed off when her picture is taken, so she is fair game now.”

    Ok, if you feel that way, I will accept that.

    But, when you stated: His wife’s sister is in the porn business and has pictures taken of themselves with a dildo up their cooch.

    That is over stepping the line.

    YOU were WRONG to bring his sister-in-law into this if she is or not in the porn business.

    Your only goal was to embarrass Andrew Zinke’s wife and dishonor his family, do you have that much hatred inside YOU?

    Dear God man, find peace within your soul, all that hatred inside you will eat you up.

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