Leist Throws Zinke Under the Bus

Andy Zinke

Andy Zinke

At the hearing yesterday on The First Electric Newspaper’s Pete Gonigam’s Freedom of Information suit against the McHenry County Sheriff’s Department, I’m told that former departmental Legal Counsel Donald Leist “threw [Andy] Zinke under the bus.”

My source, who was in the courtroom while I was writing up the Transportation Committee meeting on Randall Road, relates that after both Sheriff Keith Nygren and Leist denied showing Nygren’s exoneration report about Undersheriff Andy Zinke’s to a Northwest Herald reporter, Leist was asked another question.

It was whether he had given the report to anyone else.

“I gave it to Andy Zinke when he asked for it,” my source says Leist said.

Now Gonigam’s lawyer Mary Gardner wants to put Zinke on the stand.

If an attorney wins a Freedom of Information suit, he or she get paid fees for his or her work.


Leist Throws Zinke Under the Bus — 39 Comments

  1. Voter: Not until we have more HONEST people running for office.

    Heard a proposal the other day: Only people who are registered to vote in the same district as the candidate can GIVE money to that candidate.

    This would take out the Corporate and Union money from elections and reduce the impact of very rich people funding DUMMY, unscrupulous candidates.

  2. The only way to get rid of corruption in this county in the sheriff’s office is to ELECT JIM HARRISON SHERIFF!

  3. Cautious voter you are right.

    Real campaign finance reform is the only way we will ever have real change in this country.

    You shouldn’t have to raise $25,000 and up to run for local office.

  4. So true.

    In County Board District Four, Chuck Wheeler and I are running against a candidate who has received $4,000 from a union whose participants all work in Crystal Lake (which is NOT in District Four) and $7,000 from a State Union – money that is collected by mandatory contributions. Check it at http://www.elections.il.gov

  5. I respectfully disagree with “READ THIS” claim that Harrison is a solution.

    Frankly, I believe he is part of the problem.

    First he left law enforcement for a legal career in which he was quick to partner with Gary Pack and bill the county millions for legal work that Lou’s office now does in-house.

    Now Harrison wants to return to the Sheriff’s Department after 20 plus years.

    If he wanted to be a cop then he should have stayed a cop as opposed to sucking up to Pack and company to get millions of dollars.

    We heard nothing from Harrison for years and now he wants to return to his Good Old Boy days.

    No thank you!

    Everyone I’ve talked to prefers Bill Prim to get the job done!

    Bill Prim is the first truly independent candidate to come through the ranks and offer an opportunity to clean up the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office.

    Bill Prim is the right man at the right time! Harrison is a has-been.

  6. Nygren is gone

    Zinke is gone

    Now WE WILL Raise the Bar by voting for

    Bill Prim, ” The Right Man at the Right Time”

    People have already forgotten about Harrison

    Harrison Who?

    READ THIS slipped their comment in, in hopes of bringing back the name of
    Harrison who people don’t care about.

  7. Heard a rumor that Harrison supported Obama.

    Can someone clarify?

  8. Does McHenry County have a “Administrator” ? You know, someone that oversee’s all this BS .

    Zinke admitted that he spoke with Goode from Rita Corp about the D.E.A drug investigation, even thou he was told not to.

    Zinke conducted his political campaign while using the official office and seal of the McHenry County Sheriffs Office .

    Zinke conducted his political campaign while using the official office and seal of the Harvard Police Department.

    Zinke while operating a official McHenry County Sheriffs Squad for his political campaign parade decides to use vulgar obscene jesters to the public in Crystal Lake parade.

    Zinke named in Federal Law suits..

    Zinke close with Pete Austin,..

    Wait a minute ?

    Pete Austin ?…Who is he ?

    Oh Oh, i think that Nygren cho cho train is going to no longer be giving out free rides after November election when Mr. Bill Prim takes office.

  9. No one can be really sure if he voted for Obama.

    I do know however that Harrison and his wife wanted people to donate to the Democratic party in their name and with that said, how can he say he is Independent and doesn’t want anything to do with party politics?

    Doesn’t make sense.

    Vote Prim !!!!!

  10. Those of you who believe a Prim victory is a sure thing need to realize Bill is up against the “establishment” Republicans who are no longer in control of the McHenry GOP but have a great deal of influence at the Township level.

    In addition, if you attended any of the 2030 Plan committee meetings you will remember Daddy Harrison spouting many times: “I have walked every property in McHenry County”.

    He probably did and in the process developed a lot of contacts from whom he will deliver many votes for son Jimmy.

  11. Didn’t Harrison have to pay people to get signatures?

    Maybe hiring SEIU like Obama did?

    Just wondering …

    By the way those electric green tiny signs next to the Prim sign makes me think …


    Annoying eye hurting color.

    Well the chickens seem to be coming home to roost.

    The truth always comes out — sooner or later.

    Truth about the Sheriffs office; oakwood hills; Algonquin CFI; school district 155, 157 – the taxpayers need to continue to dig for the facts, because what’s been going on for so long is why our taxes are so high.

    It’s time to fight back.

  12. So the McHenry County Sheriff’s department still refuses to hand over their 100 page investigation report into whether or not UnderSheriff Andrew Zinke tipped off Zinke campaign contributor Brian Goode, the owner of Rita Corp, about a DEA investigation which intercepted a large shipment of marijuana headed to a Rita Corp warehouse.

    First Electric Newspaper submitted a FOIA to obtain the 100 page report from the McHenry County Sheriff’s office.

    The McHenry County Sheriff’s office denied the FOIA.

    First Electric Newspaper submitted an appeal to the Illinois Attorney General’s office.

    The Illinois Attorney General’s office ruled the McHenry County Sheriff’s office should turn over
    the 100 page report to the First Electric Newspaper.

    McHenry County Sheriff’s office ignored the Attorney General office’s ruling.

    So now First Electric Newspaper is pursuing the matter in the courts.

    First Electric Newspaper vs McHenry County Sheriff’s office.

    It is not unprecedented for a governmental body to ignore the Illinois Attorney General office’s ruling to turn over a FOIA document.

    Seems like that loophole should be tightened up.

    No suggestion Goode was or was not involved in the shipment or did or did not do anything with the tip, and it’s alleged Zinke redacted his statement, if in fact he ever made it in the first place, to tip off Goode.

    However if true Zinke tipped off Good, very poor judgement on Zinke’s part which along with getting caught on camera flipping off the local blogger while driving his marked police SUV in the Crystal Lake Independence Day parade could very well have been the difference in losing his Republican primary bid for McHenry County Sheriff.

    Since Prim beat Zinke in that very close race which Harrison did not participate in since he was an independent candidate, everything else being equal, Prim deserves a very close look.

    The one drawback with Prim the pension issue.

    He is receiving a Des Plaines police pension.

    He is entitled to continue receiving it as a McHenry County Sheriff.

    That Des Plaines pension does not cost McHenry County taxpayers a dime.

    And Prim has said he would not participate in a McHenry County Sheriff pension plan.

    None the less, he will be receiving a McHenry County Sheriff salary and Des Plaines police pension simultaneously, and that is an irritation to some people.

    Does someone really need that much money from taxpayers (keeping in mind much of the pension is based on investment returns and again McHenry County taxpayers did not contribute to that pension).

    Granted he earned it.

    Granted it’s legal.

    Granted if he was in the private sector, one can work full time and receive social security.

    However, public sector police pensions in Illinois are very generous, and very few private sector workers have a retirement plan which rivals an Illinois police pension.

    Certainly Illinois police pensions are far more generous than Social Security + 401K.

    Therefore, if he were to suspend the pension, or donate it to charity, or do something to show some additional understanding of the plight of private sector taxpayers that have gotten hammered with decreasing housing values and increasing property and income taxes, it would probably be well received.

  13. Mark are you done yet. l.o.l.

    Vote Prim in November enough of this……

    People are smart and they know a good man when they see him.

    Cal do ya have another article?

  14. Mark is informative, and sometimes the people do not have all the facts.

    A surprising number of people are completely oblivious to what has been happening in McHenry County, for many, many years.

    Most people are just trying to survive the economy and raise families.

    Though, “Voter and others have managed to wake up a lot of people.

    It is really nice to see so many working to make a better government.

    Now we have to perfect transparency in government, and hold those accountable that partake in corruption.

  15. The Pension issue is a weak… no a sad argument, at best…so are we to deny our county the best sheriff we can hope for due to his personal financial situation?

    It is not a Bona Fide Occupational Qualification in the Sheriff’s race that one has to be without a prior pension…unless you want some one with no experience….all qualified individuals likely are previously pensioned.

    I don’t like the pension system in Illinois any more than the rest of you….but, the candidate did not create it…

  16. We know that Prim has voluntarily turned down the McHenry County Sheriff’s pension and that is something he did not have to do but this shows he is concerned about the tax payers.

    His DesPlaines pension which he has earned does not cost us anything.

    No one should expect anyone to run the Sheriff’s department without a salary.

    Being a Sheriff is a responsibility, a big responsibility to the people of McHenry County and a full time job.

    I wouldn’t ask that of anyone to give up a salary and I don’t think other people would expect that either.

    I give a thank you to Mr. Prim for not taking an additional pension which the tax payers would have had to pay for.

    Thank you Prim for running for Sheriff and making our future a positive thing to look forward to.

    Thank you for thinking of the citizens as a whole when making your decisions.

  17. How many people can ” fit under a bus ? ”

    One is not enough……….

    Mark, Will Harrison forgo his Law Practice if he is the sheriff ?

    I think not !

    VOTE PRIM ! Experience counts !

  18. If police pensions were all one pension system, such as teacher pensions (Teacher Retirement System of Illinois aka TRS), legislator pensions (General Assembly Retirement System aka GARS), judicial pensions (Judicial Retirement System aka JRS), State Worker Pensions (State Employee Retirement System aka SERS), state university worker retirement pensions (State University Retirement System aka SURS), the retiree drawing a pension could not work full time in a position covered by that pension.

    Police and fire pensions in Illinois are very fragmented.

    Some are covered by the Police Pension Fund – Municipalities 500,000 and less.

    Those are small pension per town.

    Others are covered by Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund aka IMRF.

    IMRF itself has a few different categories of pensions.

    Some police would fall under standard IMRF.

    Other police such as county sheriffs fall under another plan called Sheriff’s Law Enforcement Personnel (SLEP).

    For instance, if a teacher retires from a school district, draws their pension, they cannot work as a
    Superintendent or in any position covered by TRS in another district while drawing the TRS pension, at least in the State of Illinois.

    If they go out of state, then they can get a job, because the new job is not covered by TRS.

  19. you are talking about the pension system and explaining the pension systems which is fine but We are talking about Prim being an honest person thinking about our tax dollars and making it easier for us.

    Actually this should be about the article but now it is about Harrison and Prim. l.o.l.

  20. Another option would be to not draw the Des Plaines Police pension while working as a McHenry County Sheriff, but to contribute to the IMRF SLEP pension fund.

    That option would cost McHenry County taxpayers more because they would have to fund his IMRF SLEP pension.

    But he wouldn’t be drawing a pension and working at the same time.

    That’s what drives a lot of people nuts.

    Obviously some people have no problem with that.

    And no one would advocate to not draw a salary as McHenry County Sheriff but draw the pension, that’s really strange.

    As far as the Harrison law practice, that’s not funded directly by taxpayers, maybe indirectly if he’s a special prosecutor or something of the sort.

    I’m not even saying don’t vote for Prim because he’s drawing a public sector pension.

    I am saying drawing a public sector pension and working a public sector job drives a lot of people nuts.

    How many of those people find Harrison more palatable than someone drawing a public sector pension and salary simultaneously, I have no clue, never had that conversation with anyone.

  21. What Mark fails to grasp is that Prim’s pension from Des Plaines and (potential) MCSO paycheck are two distinct animals.

    In the event Prim does not win–he will still collect his DP pension and Harrison would get the MCSO paycheck…the grander point is that the Sheriff should get paid.

    It makes no sense to argue that either payment should go uncollected.

    I do find some value in Prim foregoing a MCSO pension, but to argue double dipping is ludicrous.

  22. Everyone knows a Des Plaines police pension and McHenry County Sheriff paycheck are two different animals.

    Everyone knows if Prim loses he still collects a Des Plaines police pension.

    The definition of double dipping is retiring from one public sector job, collecting a public sector pension for that job, then starting another public sector job, and collecting a paycheck from that second public sector job; thus receiving simultaneously both a pension paycheck and a paycheck for working a job.

  23. Mark, go to bed……… you are just trying to bait people and it is getting rather boring and you want this to keep going on and on and on and on.

    anyone else who feels this is of importance then that is fine but goodnight.

    I don’t want to talk to a Harrison supporter

  24. I don’t see anything but common, sensible, patiently explained facts posted by Mark.

    Why would anyone accuse him of baiting?

    Someone is once again jumping to conclusions.

    Weighing all options in not taken seriously by certain individuals. Certain individuals have knee jerk emotional reactions to just about everything.

    I see no problem with bringing subjects up to be discussed. I see no bias in any of Mark’s comments. (He actually went out of his way to escape being labelled that way.)

    Patience seems to be your virtue, Mark.

  25. The problem is that Mark went Too Far out of his way, to seem unbiased.

    This post is about Zinke getting thrown under the bus…….

    Corruption , Lies, and Secrecy.

    Three things that Bill Prim will not stand for !!!! ……

    I personally would like to see Zinke on the stand.

  26. People brought up Prim and Harrison in the comments, prior to my comments.

    Typically my goal is to present information.

    Just because I brought up the fact Prim would be drawing a pension and a salary doesn’t mean I am a Harrison supporter.

    In the comments above I stated that since Prim beat Zinke in the Republican primary which Harrison did not participate in, due to the fact Harrison is running as an independent, Prim deserves a close check.

    It was no small feat defeating Zinke.

    The establishment did not think Prim had a chance.

    The pension issue with Prim is real.

    Ignoring it won’t make it go away.

    Better to deal with it upfront.

    The Illinois public sector pension crisis receives more scrutiny every week.

    Someday all the suburban police and fire pensions and salaries will be online, just as most the other pensions and salaries are online today.

    Probably within a year.

    Maybe a lot sooner.

  27. Mark brings up a lot of good points and the common view from millions on the outside looking in at those receiving state pensions.

    In my estimation it’s all about greed, pure and simple.

    Many recipients in law enforcement have had their pensions bulked up due to padding of their pay in the last four years or so of employment.

    I myself receive a law enforcement pension after working more than 20 years in that field and I thank God for it every day.

    I work part time now and have a combined income in the mid 50s.

    Pretty darn good for part time work but I feel I earned it.

    My point is I believe it’s pure greed for someone with a pension double or more than mine to take a high paying full time job with so many looking for work.

    I mean, look at big Keith.

    He has it the best of all as he’s receiving full time pay at the Sheriff’s office for a part time job if even that plus his CL pension.

    One thing is for sure, law enforcement is full of scum bags and most of them are in charge.

    They are dishonest, greedy and cannot be trusted.

  28. Cal you got it wrong this time.

    Leist didn’t throw Zinke under the bus, Zinke dove head first!

    Zinke did this the same way he made every effort to toss away his campaign by:

    1) flipping you off,(imagine picture now)

    2)by trying to get you fined for complaining about his misconduct,

    3)disclosing the DEA investigation,

    4)by having the reporter in his office when Leist was there over his “exoneration”,

    5)complaining about a “scary looking lady” before the election, 6)every other stupid thing he did along the way.

    I could list them all but I might hit a space limitation despite the length of Mark’s comments above.

    Zinke was his opponent’s best sales pitch.

    Perhaps that’s why the general election is relatively quiet.

    Harrison you have big shoes to fill.

    For those that think Zinke has anything to do with the current election, your right.

    Whomever wins the Sheriff’s race will have to deal with Zinke good bad or indifferent.

    My bet is that Prim will do the right thing without regard to politics.

    Prim is the right man at the right time.

  29. So if a person makes more than 50,000 a year they can’t run for office?

    Do they have to bring themselves down to a lower level income just because other people have a low income?

    That is just plain stupid.

    If that is the case then you better not vote for anyone running for office Local or state wide.

    Cindy and you want everyone to be on the poor list……. jealous of everyone bet you hate the Bull Valley people.

    How dumb.

    Bill Prim has the experience to be a benefit to the people of McHEnry County and save tax payer money in his leadership.

    I hear people saying that it is going to be a different experience actually trusting someone in the Sheriff’s department.

    Prim can do the job and will with transparency.

  30. And do we really want another lawyer in politics?

    I DON”T!

    Prim gets our vote.

  31. We have been waiting for someone like Bill Prim and now we have that person who can turn the Sheriff’s department into what a Sheriff’s department should be.

    With all his experience and dedication to law enforcement he will exceed all of our expectations.

    Lets not go backwards, lets go forward and vote Prim !!

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