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Illinois Arbitration Ruling Prompting Smear Campaign in Local Sheriff’s Race

Thursday, July, 11, 2013


 

The political race for Sheriff of McHenry County, Illinois, has turned local attention to an arbitration ruling taking place last year.  In that case, an arbitrator ruled that a McHenry County police officer, John Bueno, had indeed used excessive force on a number of occasions but hadn’t been warned or disciplined despite multiple complaints.  Due to this lack of oversight, the arbitrator ruled that Bueno should be reinstated, despite finding that there was substance to the complaints. 


However, the reason this arbitration ruling is a topic of conversation in local politics is a question of responsibility.  One candidate in the race is the former police commander of the Des Plaines Police Department and had served as Bueno’s direct supervisor.  According to Jim Harrison, the opponent calling attention to the issue, Bill Prim had obviously failed to act responsibly in ensuring the use of excessive force did not occur within his department. 


“This [arbitrator’s report] should be disturbing to the people of McHenry County who are concerned with improving the [McHenry County] Sheriff’s Office,” said Harrison.  “We can’t afford this type of inaction in the county.  We have enough problems already.”


Prim has denied the allegations, calling them “baseless” and stating that he had never incentivized the officer or “looked the other way” when the officer used unnecessary force during arrests.  According to Prim’s statement, “I was never charged or disciplined, not once in my 27-year career, for violations of the use of force either in this case at issue or any other case, nor for tolerating or condoning use of force violations in those under my command. I have never been sued in civil court by any alleged victim of brutality.”


Prim also pointed out that Jim Harrison has been the only person to call into question his integrity while serving as police commander