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A campaign issue - crashes

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

McHenry County, Illinois

A campaign issue - crashes

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
May 2, 2010


Here's another campaign issue of mine ...

When a deputy is involved in a traffic crash, the crash will be investigated by an outside agency. Many will say that is already the rule. Yes, it is the rule, and the rule is not always followed!

Almost two years ago, in July 2008, a deputy caused a crash near Richmond and $5,300 damage to a County resident's car.

The crash was investigated by a MCSD sergeant. The woman driver was initially placed as Unit 2 (the not-at-fault driver) and the deputy was listed as Unit 1, the at-fault driver. The woman driver went on her way. Because she was not-at-fault, no ticket was issued to her.

Was a ticket issued to the deputy? No. Not only that, he apparently complained loudly to the sergeant, who changed the report and listed the woman as the at-fault driver.

No amount of complaining - to the sergeant, to the then-undersheriff, or to the sheriff - resulted in correction of the report.

The County's liability administrator refused to pay for the woman's loss and no one on the County level would confront the Sheriff and force him to correct the report.

Had the crash been investigated by an outside agency (Illinois State Police or an accident-investigation officer from a nearby town), the deputy would have been listed as the at-fault driver. Because of the "Brotherhood" that officer might not have issued a ticket to the deputy.

This type of "accident investigation" will not be tolerated, if I am elected Sheriff. If a supervisor must investigate a relatively-minor crash involving a deputy because of unavailability of an outside agency, command personnel and I will scrutinize the report to make certain it is accurately completed.

And if we have caused damage to a person's vehicle, we're going to pay for it and we are going to pay promptly, without having to be nagged by the person whose vehicle was damaged.

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