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The whole GPS story

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

McHenry County, Illinois

The whole GPS story

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
February 4, 2011

A corrections officer (CO) of the McHenry County Sheriff's Department was disciplined a few years ago for living too far from the jail. It seems that the contract of employment required COs to live within 25 miles of the jail.

Why would there be such a contract provision? If you can get to work on time, why does it matter where you live? Administration must have insisted on it, and it must have been negotiated into the work agreement. After all, if you live more than 25 miles from work, you might not be able to get there fast enough, if there is a riot that on-duty COs can't handle, on-duty patrol deputies called in to assist can't handle, and on-duty police officers from Woodstock, Crystal Lake, Hebron, McHenry, Richmond, Harvard and Marengo can't handle.

So, how far did this CO live from work? 25.3 miles. That's right; 25.3 miles!!!

And how did the valiant command staff of the jail figure that out?

At his disciplinary hearing it was revealed that the head of the jail, Dan Sedlock, ordered a GPS tracking device attached to the bumper of that CO's privately-owned vehicle. A detective went to the parking lot and attached it.

Then a detective followed him home at the end of the CO's shift. And the next day, before the CO left home for work, the detective was back near the CO's residence and followed him to work.

And here's one kicker. It wasn't even the CO's car; it was just the car that he happened to be driving those days! It was privately-owned. It was not an MCSD vehicle.

What was the discipline for living three blocks too far from the office? The CO got a five-day suspension.

This is the same Dan Sedlock who was hospitalized recently about 50 miles from Woodstock. The same Sedlock whose take-home car was not returned to the MCSD lot for use by someone else during his hospitalization and recuperation. The same Sedlock whose Department car is thought to have been driven by his wife, when she went to visit him in the hospital.

Why was she driving his Department car? Did she really transport family members in the Department car on her trips to the hospital? Isn't there a General Order that there will be no passengers (for example, family members) in the take-home car? Who paid for the gas for the roundtrips to the hospital? Was the car fueled at the County pump during his hospitalization and recuperation? Oh, wait; that's another story.

I was told this morning that this CO had been a whistleblower, when jail sergeants were caught falsifying training records for the ICE unit. Does this sound like retaliation to you?

This CO left the Department in October 2007 and now lives out-of-state. When I spoke with him this afternoon, he sounded pretty happy to be where he is.

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