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How many tickets?

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

McHenry County, Illinois

How many tickets?

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
November 21, 2010


Be sure to read Cal Skinner's article about a possible and serious error in ticket records at the McHenry County Sheriff's Department. You can read it at http://mchenrycountyblog.com/2010/11/20/sheriffs-spreadsheet-of-tickets-issued-doesnt-match-tickets-in-file/

In Federal court in Rockford (Ill.) on Friday, Blake Horwitz, attorney for Zane Seipler, told the judge that at least 200 tickets seems to be missing from a MCSD spreadsheet and that's just for one deputy. Apparently, 700 tickets may have been issued, but only 500 are on the spreadsheet.

On another day in Rockford's Federal court, a question arose about whether race was being entered correctly on tickets. On numerous tickets the race was entered as White (or Caucasian) for Hispanic drivers.

I recall hearing earlier in the year that deputies were told to just put down White for everyone, so that questions of racial profiling would go away.

I wonder if the Sheriff's Department took its lead from the U.S. Census Bureau which, for some insane reason in 2010, decided that Hispanic was not a race. Instructions on the Census form were to record Hispanic residents as White.

Keeping an Excel spreadsheet accurate just isn't that hard. You start with the Ticket Number, and then you fill in the lines. You'd think that for $70-90,000/year somebody at the Sheriff's Department ought to be able to handle that simple task without errors. Right?

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