When non-Establishment candidate for the office of McHenry County Sheriff Bill Prim speaks, he usually talks about the excessive overhead at the Department being run by his opponent Andy Zinke.
Often the Affirmative Action Officer is brought up as a complete waste of money.
A court order resulting from a suit brought by female deputies was the original reason that such a watchdog was brought on board.
That woman has since retired and I believe under the terms of the court ruling, enough years have passed that the Sheriff’s Office no longer is required to have the position.
When he left the State’s Attorney’s Office, Don Leist was hired by Sheriff Keith Nygren as the replacement Affirmative Action Officer.
Later, Leist’s title was apparently changed to include the duties of Legal Affairs Officer. He has tried to represent Nygren and the Department in First Electric Newspaper Pete Gonigam’s Freedom of Information suit to make public the investigatory report that exonerated Zinke of any wrongdoing in the DEA investigation in which Zinke told a potential witness his firm was involved.
Now comes the Daily Herald with a story about a female deputy, Susan Lackics, working for the DuPage County Sheriff’s Department who sued when she couldn’t get a promotion.
She just won $1 million in Federal Court.
According to the article by Sara Hooker and Josh Stockinger,
“…jurors agreed with Lakics’ claims that politics influenced her career within the department.
“They did not support her sexual discrimination claim.”
Politics entered the picture because her husband was mayor of West Chicago and a friend of Sheriff John E. Zaruba (who just endorsed Zinke’s candidacy). The deputy apparently has some problems with her hubby resulting her being treated differently from “other non-politically affiliated employees,” as the article says.
“Lakics said she was denied opportunities to attend classes, passed up for promotions for lesser qualified employees and was subject to retaliation such as downgrading her reviews.”
Perhaps if Prim gets elected, Leist might have a future in the DuPage County Sheriff’s Office.