In the News

Statement regarding a past lawsuit filed against McHenry County and Sheriff’s Deputies

Since my opponent, and some of his supporters, have been editorializing about a lawsuit filed against McHenry County, the Sheriff, and several deputies, I feel it necessary to set the record straight so that voters have the true story, and are not further misled. In short, the opposition is suggesting that I, and a couple of other deputies, violated an individual’s civil rights by entering his home during a hot pursuit.

The lawsuit was settled in 2015. The opposition claims the lawsuit was settled for $300,000, when in fact, the “settlement” was $15,000. Also, myself and my fellow deputies were removed from the lawsuit prior to the settlement and were never reprimanded for any breach of office policy or training and were found to have committed no wrongdoing.

My opponent and his cohorts have been spreading this lie for months, which is at best, reckless and irresponsible. It is a demonstration of a very poor grasp of facts and evidence. My opponent has been peddling this lie to his supporters through social media and to voters through mailings. This shows an utter disregard for the truth and a disrespect to voters who expect candidates to share accurate information. This lawsuit fabrication is a breach of the public trust.

When lawsuits are filed, lawyers include everyone and every entity they can in the lawsuit. As law enforcement officers, my fellow deputies and I still had “qualified immunity,” and we were thankful to have an elected Sheriff who had our backs. Qualified immunity would not protect us if we had violated someone’s constitutional rights, as my opponent claims.

“Qualified immunity” is a critical part of the job. As law enforcement officers, if that immunity was compromised, there would be a chilling effect on the profession in general. Qualified immunity means that if we make a mistake or take a certain action, we will not be sued or subjected to punishment unless we committed a crime. Qualified immunity is under attack by those who want to defund our police and strip police officers of their ability to do their jobs.

Police officers drive high performance vehicles, chase bad guys, carry guns and tasers, and they are often in situations that are very dangerous, requiring split-second decisions. I don’t expect my opponent to fully grasp this because he has never been a full-time police officer and he has rarely, if ever, been in this type of situation. If I am elected Sheriff, I will fight those who want to take away qualified immunity and expose our officers to lawsuits. My deputies will always know that I have their backs.