Sheriff Bill Prim Keeps Campaign Promise Not To Participate in County Pension Program

Judge Michael Sullivan swears in Bill Prim as McHenry County Sheriff.

Judge Michael Sullivan swears in Bill Prim as McHenry County Sheriff.

From the get-go in Bill Prim’s campaign for McHenry County Sheriff, he promised to set himself aside from most public officials by not participating in the pension program to which he would be entitled.

Recently, State Rep. David McSweeney has gotten significant publicity for not taking part in the General Assembly Retirement System pension program.

And newly-elected McHenry County Board member Andrew Gasser wrote on his blog (go to the second page) about his not participating in the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund pension program.

Prim’s primary opponent, Undersheriff Andy Zinke was, of course, in IRMF and had been since he served briefly with the Algonquin Police Department in 1987.

General election opponent Jim Harrison did not say that he would not seek a pension, if elected.

Prim does, however, defer some of his income for retirement purposes.

The plan allows people to defer their income tax-free until it is withdrawn in retirement.

McHenry County has what is called a 457 Plan.  It is administered by Nationwide Insurance.

There is no county match of an employee’s deferred income.

267 county employees deferring $31,687.46 into the plan during the last half of January.

McHenry County has 1,386 current active employees of which 1,229 are eligible to participate in the 457 plan.

At the end of last year, $17,938,780.82 in income had been deferred.

Under the same program, state employees–including legislators–may have part of their paychecks deducted and invested for later use.

About age 70, IRS requires mandatory withdrawal, similar to rules for 401(k)’s.

When I worked for the Department of Central Management Services as Benefits Manager, its deferred comp plan–a 457 plan–was in my bureau.


Sheriff Bill Prim Keeps Campaign Promise Not To Participate in County Pension Program — 23 Comments

  1. Interesting that you would share this, but didn’t blog about this:

    Matt McNamara started Monday as deputy chief of patrol at the sheriff’s office.

    McNamara’s criminal history became a campaign issue for Prim’s challenger during the sheriff’s election this past fall. Prim claimed McNamara was just an unpaid volunteer, after McNamara resigned as his campaign manager in 2012.

    McNamara – who also is a Republican precinct committeeman in Grafton Township – has prior convictions for misdemeanor assault and driving under the influence.

    He was arrested and charged with driving under the influence in 2012 in Jerome, Arizona. According to a police report from the time, McNamara blew more than twice the legal limit and told police that he was a Chicago police officer, but he was not.

    I voted for Primm and was hoping for change, but this shows he’s just another “one of the boys”.

  2. Did McNamara also choose not to participate in the pension fund?

    I would bet he is getting a great salary and working on a pension.

    Where do you stand on Prim hiring a man with a criminal history Cal

  3. And this is news how?


    All you’ve done here is repeated what Prim said before the election.

    What, if any, verification have you attempted?

    Did Sheriff Prim tell you this?

    What independent verification did you do.

    He also told us things about McNamara that haven’t exactly been true.

    Oh, how about reporting that Brian Williams has confirmed that he was not actually, personally beheaded by ISIS?

    About as much veracity there as there is in the Prim-McNamara statements, right?


    Old news and, I think, reported incorrectly.

    Algonquin has their own pension plan, I believe, nothing to do with IMRF.

    Come to think of it, you, Cal, have lost whatever credibility you may have had by choosing to ignore the McNamara switcheroo.

    Not that you had all that much before but now it’s crystal clear you’re a kept man and we use that term loosely.

  4. And here comes all the old regime.

    You make yourselves look ridiculous .

  5. Yes, those back stabbing blood sucking scum bags, are a bunch of sore losers!.

    Prim is the best person, that ever happened to McHenry County.

    Matt McNamara is a nice guy and deserves to be hired by Prim.

    We all know that they aren’t the ones that will attempt to being in truckloads or marijauna into Rita corporation.

    At some point the old regime needs to find something else to do with their lives, because every time they make an appearance, they are nothing but a nuisance!

  6. From Prim’s Website:
    -The “Sheriff’s Office will no longer be run like a private club.”

    Cal, would you say that McNamara’s hiring would fulfill this promise?

    -Sheriff Prim promised “A leaner, more efficient Sheriff’s Office,” sure, Prim eliminated the Undersheriff position, but made three new upper management positions!

    Is that a promise kept?

  7. I have a copy of a pay stub for Bill Prim and an IMRF report on Andy Zinke which shows he paid into IMRF for a short time while he worked for Algonquin.

    You are welcome to disagree, but I think a politician’s keeping a campaign pledge is newsworthy.

  8. A comment has been removed that seemed to quote the Northwest Herald verbatim.

  9. You are right, Cal, a politician keeping his word is newsworthy.

    You are wrong, Cal, to keep ignoring calls to comment on McNamara’s hiring and the implications this will have down the road, because that, as well, is newsworthy.

  10. Enough of the the McNamara saga! Prim made the right choice, and he has kept his campaign promise.

    Now let’s see, how much money does Nygren bring in every year, even after retirement?

    A LOT!

    And, our high taxes pay his high pension and more.

  11. A politician keeping his word is great news, it’s just that the Prim haters can’t get used to it.

    Oh and Cal does not have to comment on anything.

  12. I disliked the old regime and I voted for Primm. I was looking forward to changes in the Sheriffs office.

    Duncan McHenry said: “Matt McNamara is a nice guy and deserves to be hired by Prim.”

    He may be a nice guy, but he should not have been hired.

    If one of Primms first acts is to bring in someone with a criminal record who is his “buddy”, how is that any different from the Nygren regime?

    You can’t tell me that there was not someone better for the job out that wasn’t his buddy.

    Shouldn’t these jobs be put out there for all qualified applicants instead of just going to a Buddy of the Sheriff?

    I’m not and never was a Nygren supporter, and again< I voted for Primm.

    I'm disappointed in this hire!

  13. Bill you are the one deflecting popcorn over and over again on this blog.

    Why don’t you just go join your good ole boy friend Jeff Thorsen.

    He’ll give you one big fat dose of deflecting popcorn and corruption that you can shove down your throats!

  14. How about those boys over at the CLPD “STALKING” one of our residents at Sam’s Club?

    Whats your excuse?

    Talk about cops that should prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

    They should be made to walk around town carrying a sign that says “I am a stalker”

    How about the brethren of their own profession that they railroaded, were falsely charged and prosecuted?

    How about all of the hardworking, decent, police officers that lost their jobs because they refused to go along with Nygren?

    Hmmmmmm remember, the officers that were or are in Federal court defending their jobs because of Nygren.

    You are the one deflecting popcorn Bill.

    Next time you decide to type or speak get your story straight!

  15. I’m still waiting for Cal to advise his opinion on Sheriff Prim’s hiring of the new Deputy Chief of Patrol. Cal normally is very opinionated and has no problem posting his views on any subject. However on this subject he has remained unusually quiet.

    Last time I posed this question and comments about the hiring was on an article about 2 deputies that completed command school. I chose to add my comments to that article because it the first and at the time the only post about the Sheriff’s Department posted since the hiring occured.

    I was quickly labeled by Voter and Duncan McHenry that I was a “Prim hater” and from the “Nygren/Zinke camp” after posting my inquiries. Since this article is specifically about Sheriff Prim, I’m hoping that these commenters will not make unfounded accusations about me.

    This time, just like last time, I have made no negative comments about the new D/C, he may be a great guy but I don’t know. I think the timing of hiring the D/C was bad and with his history it makes people question Sheriff Prim’s judgment.

    Back to the reason for my comment which is I want to know Cal’s opinion on the hiring. As I said I voted for Prim based on Cal’s recommendation from this blog.

    In my opinion, Cal not commenting on this subject gives the appearance that he does not agree with Prim’s selection but does not want to publicly disagree with him. After vigorously campaigning for Prim it appears to me that he is having buyer’s regret. Cal’s continued silence on this is saying more than anything he may have said for or against the hire.

    Unless Cal clarifies his position on this matter, I think in the future I probably will not automatically vote for candidates that he endorsed. I bet that I’m not the only reader to this blog that feels this way. When you consider that Prim barley won the primary, by less than 100 votes I believe, it could be the difference in winning or losing.

  16. Miss Madison, well said.

    We can still support Sheriff Prim while questioning this appointment.

    It’s a shame so many others can not.

  17. Still no details about the Matt McNamara hire by your friend and new Sheriff Prim.

    If this was done by Nygren or Zinke you’d have meade thisthe top blog story for quite some time.

    By omitting anything about Matt McNamara you really show that this isn’t a true blog it’s just a guy that wants a place to move his agebda forward.

    I saw you taking photos during the Crystal Lake Fourth of July parade and must say you looked professional with your shirt on backward with food stains on it.

    Keep up the biased one sided work.

  18. If only taxpayers in our county would have got a commitment that he would give Law enforcement pensions to any former campaign managers who may have ugly and violent criminal records.

    What a bunch of hypocrites Prim supporters are proving themselves.

  19. …after reading this comment section a bit more carefully, I guess I have to step back just a bit from implying all Prim’s election supporters are proving Hypocritical.

    Miss Madison seems to be holding her previously chosen candidate to a fair accountability despite his continued despite his continued apparent unavailability to comment, be transparent, or accountable.

    The Mcnamara hiring and subsequent apparent county wide complicit political white wash may set a low bar in ethics in this county that will be hard ever beat.

  20. DUNCAN McHenry is not a broken record and does not eat popcorn chicken.

    DUNCAN never lies, he’s always tells the truth.

    Duncan is pragmatic, even keel voice in Mchenry county.

    Duncan is the more ardent supporter of Cal Skinner and the McHenry county blog!

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