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First Electric Newspaper v.s. Sheriff Nygren and EEO Officer Donald Leist

Submitted by on Wednesday, 14 August 20135 Comments
Pete Gonigam, publisher of the First Electric Newspaper.

Pete Gonigam, publisher of the First Electric Newspaper.

Why is Pete Gonigam of the First Electric Newspaper battling Sheriff Nygren and EEO Officer Donald Leist?

On October 23, 2012 Sgt John Koziol of the McHenry County Sheriff’s Department filed a motion for a Special Prosecutor to investigate Undersheriff Andrew Zinke for any wrongdoing when he gave information about a DEA investigation to Brian Goode, who is also a campaign contributor of his. He informed Brian Goode that the DEA was tracking a two ton shipment of marijuana to his company the Rita Corporation. The same address to Andrew Zinke’s campaign headquarters. Sgt Koziol filed the motion after Brian Goode was told about the investigation by Undersheriff Zinke and then made a $5,000 contribution to Zinke’s campaign after the tip. For more details I have written an article about this called Andrew Zinke plus Rita Corporation equals ON THE TAKE.

Brian Goode's Rita Corporation located at 850 S IL Route 31  Crystal Lake, Illinois 60014.

Brian Goode’s Rita Corporation located at 850 S IL Route 31 Crystal Lake, Illinois 60014.

 

The motion was brought to Circuit Court Judge Thomas Meyer. He eventually ruled that it should be States Attorney Lou Bianchi that should decide to investigate the matter. The states attorney’s office concluded that there was no state laws broken. That left only Sheriff Nygren to investigate his Undersheriff. He is also Nygren’s personal selection to replace him as sheriff.

If that does not provide you with any comfort it is only because it shouldn’t. Besides hand picking Zinke to replace him when he retires, the sheriff’s office’s internal investigations are hardly trustworthy. Do you remember when former deputy Zane Seipler made the accusation that deputies were racially profiling Hispanics? There were three sheriff’s investigations that were conducted and they all concluded no wrongdoing. However, the Chicago Tribune found jail records that labeled Pedro Lopez, Jose Salas, and Pablo Toxqui-Zavala as being white, despite the fact that jail records also showed them as being brown skin, spoke Spanish, and were from Mexico. The Tribune pulled citations written by McHenry County Deputies and found that more than a 1,000 others were most likely mislabeled. This would have been obvious to a 5th Grade Civics class but it was not obvious to Sheriff Nygren, not once, not twice, but three times. Here is the Tribune article titled Study suggests racial mislabeling skews McHenry County sheriff data.

It was now up to Sheriff Nygren to conduct an investigation of Undersheriff Andrew Zinke for breaking the law or any Sheriff Orders for telling his buddy, his biggest campaign contributor, his sponsor for his Campaign Headquarters, Brian Goode that his Rita Corporation was included in a DEA investigation. An investigation with ties to Mexico, were about 60,000 pounds of pot had been shipped in to the area over a ten month period. It is Andrew Zinke’s lucky day that his faith was in Keith Nygren’s hands. Do you know what wrongdoings were found? NONE!! It is perfectly ok to be the second highest law enforcement officer in the land and tell a potentials suspect that he is being investigated by the DEA. I guess Brian Goode’s contributions were to the right guy. The sheriff’s investigations of Undersheriff Andrew Zinke was concluded but never made public.

Undersheriff Andrew Zinke in uniform

Undersheriff Andrew Zinke in uniform

Pete Gonigam of the First Electric Newspaper filed a Freedom of Information Act, requesting a copy of the report that cleared Zinke of any wrong doing but was denied in January of this year. It was denied stating that it contained “records relating to a public body’s adjudication of employee grievances or disciplinary cases.” Nygren had publically stated that this accusation was politically charged and inspired by Independent Sheriff’s candidate Jim Harrison.

Pete Gonigam files an appeal with the Public Access Bureau which is under the Illinois Attorney General’s office. They agreed with Mr. Gonigam and cited that there was an investigation of employee misconduct but there was not a third party arbiter adjudicating the decision. Not to mention that is common sense fact that WE the PEOPLE have the RIGHT to KNOW what is going on in OUR sheriff’s department. Pete Gonigam received a copy of the report and posted it on the his website the First Electric Newspaper and is found here. Just click the link. Make sure that you double click for the report to pop up. I couldn’t help it, I am just playing, the link to the report does not exist. The report still eludes Mr. Gonigam.

When the highest law office in Illinois states a finding it should be followed, am I correct? Not if you are Sheriff Nygren or part of the Good Ol’ Boy Network. Aren’t you proud of our sheriff’s department?

So now where do you go with this? The Illinois Attorney General’s decision is non-binding. It means that that they are not going to enforce this as law. The Illinois AG delivers thousand’s of these decisions a year but only 20 will be binding or enforced by the AG’s resources. You have to pay a lawyer to take this to court and that is what Pete Gonigam did. On June 18th Mr. Gonigam filed with the Circuit Court to force the Sheriff to hand over the investigation that cleared Undersheriff Zinke of any wrongdoing.

“This isn’t about who should be the next Sheriff,” said FEN Publisher Pete Gonigam.  “It’s not a reporter’s job to care about that.  This is about whether the Sheriff right now can ignore the law.”

On July 10th Mr. Gonigam and his lawyer Mary E. Gardner proceeded to the Circuit Court to have a final determination made by a judge for the sheriff’s report clearing Zinke. That was not going to happen. Sheriff Nygren made a request to have two Special Assistant State’s Attorneys. One on the premise that the State’s Attorney won’t really defend the Sheriff in the case. Isn’t that interesting? The Sheriff Nygren does not believe that State’s Attorney Lou Bianchi will defend him in this case. My first guess is that the merit of the case says that he needs to turn the investigative report over and Bianchi will not play the role of obstructionist in this case. My second guess is that the Sheriff and the State’s Attorney have some bad blood between them (this is for another article, but in short, the court house in Woodstock is a three ring circus). The second Special Assistant State’s Attorney is for the McHenry County Board, and another one was requested for McHenry County’s EEO Officer Don Leist. They are asking for three Special Assistant State’s Attorneys. I am so confused by this that I am going to copy and paste a couple of paragraphs from an article on FEN’s website.

Assistant States Attorneys Norm Vinton and Brandy Quance began by asking Judge Thomas Meyer to appoint a Special Assistant State’s Attorney for the McHenry County Board.  Their motion claimed the Board needs legal advice about the case “as soon as possible” but State’s Attorney Lou Bianchi can’t give it since he’s defending the Sheriff. They didn’t explain what the Board needs legal advice about in such a hurry.

The pair also asked Meyer to dismiss complaints against Nygren, his “legal affairs adviser” Don Leist, and his Freedom of Information Act Officer, Jan Weech, on the premise that the FOIA law only allows suing a government entity, not the real people who run it.


Nevertheless, Leist, speaking on his own behalf, asked Meyer to appoint another Special Assistant State’s Attorney, one to defend him because he thinks Bianchi “is personally interested in the subject matter of this case” and wants the Sheriff to lose it.  Leist’s written motion claims Bianchi supports Bill Prim who’s challenging Nygren’s chosen successor when he retires.

There is no professionalism in the roles of the sheriff and the EEO Officer. You should understand that the State’s Attorney and Sheriff’s office needs to work together in providing the best law enforcement; but not ours. Gonigam’s lawyer, Mary E. Gardner, did make a comment to FEN about this whole side show. “What they’re doing is what we lawyers technically call a [really bad word connoting cross-purposes and incompetence; starts with ‘cluster’],”

It is not understood nor has it been clarified why McHenry County needs representation. FEN had asked Tina Hill, the McHenry County Board Chairperson, and she said that maybe it had something to do with money, but she really did not know. She said, “I have not been talked to about this at all,”

The only thing that was understood from that day, is that the report that cleared Zinke is about 100 pages long and it was Donald Leist, the Equal Employment Opportunity Officer, that conducted it.

The States Attorney for McHenry County is the official attorney for the sheriff and the sheriff’s  office. Lou Bianchi said that he would defend the defendants in this case the way a State’s Attorney should. He said that he finds their request for another lawyer is based on “speculation and suspicion.” Leist and Nygren asked for a Special Assistant State’s Attorney to defend them since Bianchi is a campaign contributor of Bill Prim. Bill Prim is running for the Republican nomination for sheriff. Bianchi said that this does not make any difference since Bill Prim and Andrew Zinke are not participants in this case. He also said that Nygren and Leist are claiming Bianchi won’t “zealously represent” them, “without pleading or proving any facts.” This saga will continue on August 20th.

Are you confused? That is ok, because I think everyone is confused on this. Maybe that is the idea. What is not confusing is that again this is the heavy handedness of Sheriff Nygren. It seems that him and Donald Leist are having a fit trying to suppress what the people of McHenry deserves to know. If Andrew Zinke was cleared of wrong doing, then we should all understand how and why. Citizens may not be legal experts or fluent with the law but we have the right to draw judgment on how public officials and civil servants handle themselves. All seem to agree that even if the law was not broken by Andrew Zinke, that this behavior is a concern. The sheriff’s office should not go by the old saying of “Just Trust Me.” Look Sheriff Nygren, we don’t trust you, you give us no reason to trust you, and to the contrary plenty of reason not to. Shall I cite all the reasons for you Sheriff Nygren? I will give you one, but I can provide you many more sir!

Sheriff Nygren and Donald Leist are the same obstructionists that is preventing me from getting the rest of my father’s file. Here is a link to an article that I have written about my quest to get my father’s case file. Justice gone backwards. It’s a sad day for the citizens of McHenry County. Mind you, this is a 32 year old murder case that has named the killer, Larry Neumann. Almost everyone involved in the case is now dead. My father is dead, the killer of my father Larry Neumann is dead, the original investigator Sheriff George Hendle is dead, the cause of my father’s murder, Debbie Neumann is dead, dead, dead, dead, everybody is dead! They are hiding something. You don’t fight this hard for ghosts and dead people. If my father’s case file should be hidden from view, then what information is public domain? I have a vested interest in how this turns out for Pete Gonigam and the First Electric Newspaper. GO GET EM’ PETE!!

We all need to demand transparency in ALL things related to the public interest. Why? Because Transparency is the Enemy of Corruption!

 

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KNOWLEDGE CENTER

I have put together some of the articles that I have written that are prevalent for the upcoming election in MARCH!. This is the Republican Nominee election but probably more important than the general election. It is most likely the winner in March will win in November and become sheriff. If you review the articles in the Knowledge Center, you will read all kinds of unbelievable things as it relates to this election.

 

My mother and father, Ron and Kathy Scharff, 1969.

Freedom of Information Act Appeal to get the remainder of my father’s file. In my efforts to get to the bottom of my father’s murder and what the McHenry County Sheriff’s office has done to me and my family 33 years ago. I filed a FOIA Request (Freedom of Information Act Request) to get my father’s case file. Many documents were withheld from my request. It is my believe the documents are withheld to protect guilty individuals that are known to Sheriff Keith Nygren and Undersheriff Andrew Zinke that covered up who actually killed my father during the original investigation. Start on page 11 to read what sounds like a murder mystery thriller, but this is my true life. It is backed by FBI reports, witness statements, and newspaper articles.

Undersheriff Andrew Zinke and the Rita Corporation on RT 31Andrew Zinke for McHenry County Sheriff, Really??? This article is based on my own father’s murder investigation and Undersheriff Andrew Zinke. I talked about how he made his own milestones and failed to meet every single one. How it took me calling NBC News Chicago to get Andrew Zinke to return my phone call about my father’s murder investigation, as he was the lead investigator. I am fighting to get the remainder of my father’s case file. It is my believe that Undersheriff Andrew Zinke and the Sheriff Keith Nygren are hiding and protecting individuals that covered up the true killer of my father during the original investigation.

Undersheriff Andrew Zinke and the Rita Corporation on RT 31Andrew Zinke plus Rita Corporation equals ON THE TAKE Brian Goode and his RITA Corporation was a person of interest and focal point for the investigation of the distribution of 30 plus tons of marijuana. Undersheriff Andrew Zinke told Brian Goode of the investigation. Two days later, according to Koziol, (Sgt. Koziol was working on the investigation and filed a complaint against Zinke) Goode gave Zinke’s election campaign a $5,000 donation. The RITA Corporation address is the same address as Andrew Zinke’s campaign headquarters.

Deputy Zane SeiplerMcHenry County Deputy Zane Seipler under siege, Again!! Zane Seipler is a whistleblowing deputy that was fired by Keith Nygren after he exposed the sheriff’s office for racial profiling. Nygren was forced to hire Seipler back after he lost an arbitration ruling, a court hearing, an appellate court hearing, and a failed attempt to be heard by the Illinois State Supreme Court. After Seipler was hired back, Nygren fired him again. Zane Seipler is currently fighting to get his job back.

Deputy Scott Milliman in uniform.

Another McHenry County Deputy under siege, Scott Milliman Scott Milliman was a deputy and former right hand man to Sheriff Keith Nygren. He was fired by the sheriff for whistleblowing that the sheriff allegedly transacted in ticket fixing, bribery, general corruption, fraud in a SBA Loan, and in tapping Milliman himself to kill a McHenry County Judge and a Coroner’s Candidate. Scott Milliman is currently fighting to get his job back.

Gary Gauger, of Richmond, was wrongly convicted of murdering his parents in 1993 and sentenced to death. After years in prison his sentence was overturned and two gang members were later convicted of the murders. Gauger is released a book detailing the event called IN SPITE OF THE SYSTEM. (Ryan Rayburn photo)

How Gary Gauger got to DEATH ROW This is the real life, tragic story of Gary Gauger. He was falsely arrested and sent to Death Row by the McHenry County Sheriff’s Department for the double murder of his parents. Investigators from the sheriff’s department rigged a false confession so that they could convict him.

 

Undersheriff Andrew Zinke giving Cal Skinner the finger at the 4th of July Parade in Crystal Lake, IL.

McHenry County Ethics Commission, Ethical or NOT!?!? The McHenry County Ethics Commission conducted a hearing of a complaint filed by Cal Skinner that Undersheriff Andrew Zinke used a government computer for a very politically charged email. The hearing was ran over by Zinke’s attorneys Mark Gummerson and Rebecca Lee. The sign up sheet to speak at the hearing went missing but found in the possession of Rebecca Lee. The commission went into secret session, made its decision, and did so without explanation.

Pete Gonigam, publisher of the First Electric Newspaper.

First Electric Newspaper v.s. Sheriff Nygren and EEO Officer Donald Leist Pete Gonigam won a Public Access Bureau (Illinois States Attorney) appeal for the release of a 100 page report conducted by the McHenry County Sheriff’s office. The report exonerated Undersheriff Andrew Zinke after he told Brian Goode that he and his RITA Corporation was a the focal point of a drug investigation by the DEA.

Undersheriff Andrew Zinke giving Cal Skinner the finger at the 4th of July Parade in Crystal Lake, IL.

Zinke’s middle finger may cost Cal Skinner $5,000 After filing a valid ethics complaint against Undersheriff Andrew Zinke for using a government computer for his campaign, Cal Skinner was to face Zinke’s attorney Mark Gummerson. Gummerson was lobbying for a $5,000 fine against Skinner filing a valid complaint. An act of bulling and intimidation of a McHenry County citizen.

Local 150 International Union of Operating Engineers

Will McHenry County be Ripped Off by Special Interest in Sheriff Election? I question the interest and the contribution to Undersheriff Andrew Zinke’s campaign from the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 150 election. I send a letter to the President-Business Manager of the union James M. Sweeney.

Local 150 International Union of Operating Engineers

IUOE Local 150 and Andrew Zinke. Is this Gangster Money for a Gangster Cop? The International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 150 contributes money to Undersheriff’s Andrew Zinke’s campaign. They have known ties to the Colombo and Gambino Crime Families.

 

Cal Skinner former McHenry County Treasure and State Representative and current editor of the mchenrycountyblog.com.

Undersheriff Andrew Zinke Shuts Down Cal Skinner’s Blog Site Undersheriff Andrew Zinke’s campaign was able to get Cal Skinner’s website, mchenrycountyblog.com shut down by falsely accusing him of stalking and linking to obscene material. Read here on how Zinke’s campaign resorts to breaking the law to silence a citizen’s voice.

 

Zinke-looking-right-eyes-at-cameraAndrew Zinke Fearful to Debate Bill Prim Lies to Get Out of It. Undersheriff Andrew Zinke is so fearful to debate Bill Prim for McHenry County Sheriff that he lies to get out of it. Zinke knows that he would be out matched, outwitted, and the truth of his corrupt character would be revealed to the citizens of McHenry County. Instead of enduring such damage to his campaign he lies to coward out of it.

 

 

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