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When deputies drink, drive, lose control

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

McHenry County, Illinois

When deputies drink, drive, lose control

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
March 12, 2009

In the article below titled, "If the public only knew..." several incidents are mentioned. Some I already knew about; some were new to me.

In the first, I had heard about the incident shortly after the drinking party near the end of January 2007 at the Red Mill Inn, on Lake Avenue in Woodstock. When I heard that a female deputy had been pushed down by a deputy of higher rank who was allegedly DUI, causing re-injury to her shoulder, I went to Chief Bob Lowen at the Woodstock PD and asked if he had heard about it.

Chief Lowen told me that he hadn't heard of it and that he would look into it. Later he told me that he had had an investigator look into it and that the investigator had not been able to confirm my information.

Later I was told by others that the Woodstock Police had not been called. I'm a little surprised that the WPD investigator wasn't able to learn what had happened. Maybe he was stone-walled when he approached the Sheriff's Department about it.

How does it happen that a drunk deputy can assault another deputy and not be held accountable for it, except by internal, administrative discipline?

And now that I think about the Purpose of the Merit Commission, did any discipline administered within the Sheriff's Department reach the Merit Commission? Did it have to approve suspensions that resulted from that night's "activities"?

It's time to check the online Minutes of Merit Commission meetings.

Stay tuned.

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