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Zinke mis-uses County squad car again

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

McHenry County, Illinois Emergency Services Vehicles

Zinke mis-uses County squad car again

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
September 2, 2012


Undersheriff Andy Zinke mis-used a squad car of the McHenry County Sheriff's Department, when he drove it in the Lake in the Hills parade. Zinke drove squad 538, bearing County Sheriff's Department license plate S56-76, in the parade.

What was improper and illegal about it? Zinke is running for County Sheriff in an election that will not be held for more than two years. See the photo of Zinke and his squad here. Notice on the side of his take-home squad car a magnetic sticker that reads "Andrew Zinke Undersheriff".

I know of no other vehicle of the Sheriff's Department that bears such a sticker. Is the sticker on that vehicle when it is parked in the Sheriff's Department lot? At Zinke's home, where the vehicle must be parked outside, not in his garage? When he commutes (at taxpayer expense) to his desk job at the Sheriff Department? Will it be on his vehicle if he drives to Missouri in November for Thanksgiving (a trip, by the way, not approved under the General Orders of the Department)?

Is that a satellite-radio antenna mounted on the front of the roof of the vehicle? Is it for Department communications? If not, why in the world would the Sheriff's Department order a vehicle with a satellite radio? Is the radio operational with a satellite-radio subscription? Why???

Why would the Undersheriff be driving his take-home vehicle in a municipal parade, if not for political purposes? Normally, parade duty is assigned to a deputy (and, if assigned with on-duty pay status, then it should be assigned to the lowest-paid, available duty and not to a supervisor or command officer). It is the presence of the Sheriff's Department that is important, not the face of a political candidate behind the wheel.



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