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Who is getting free gas?

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

McHenry County, Illinois

Who is getting free gas?

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
November 25, 2013

Cal Skinner has an interesting short article on McHenry County Blog about who is getting gas at the McHenry County Sheriff's gas pump.

Somebody must have tipped Cal to fuel going into a private vehicle. I wonder if the person provided photos and license plate numbers.

All fuel that is dispensed should be recorded on a Fuel Log kept for each pump.

Cal had submitted a FOIA Request, which read, "Under the FOIA, I request a copy of your Department’s policy for allowing private vehicles to fill their tanks from the Department’s gasoline pumps.”

We know there are some pretty dumb things that go on at the Sheriff's Department, but I would think even they would not have a "policy" about dispensing fuel into unauthorized or private vehicles.

But could a differently-worded FOIA Request get the information that Cal is seeking?

What if he had requested copies of the fuel logs for the pumps for the past 90 days? A sharp analysis might spot a vehicle that shouldn't have been fueled. Could be that a strange license plate would show up or a fueling at an odd hour or day. Or a vehicle showing up too often or too seldom? Maybe only once?

Department vehicles are probably fueled at least once daily. Squad cars ought to be kept full, just in case one gets into a 100-mile chase. Excuse No. 163 might be "Pursuit was discontinued, after my squad car ran out of gas while chasing the violator."

CALEA might even have a "standard", developed at high cost no doubt, that directs how often a squad car should be fueled.

So, who knows of any unauthorized vehicles being fueled?

With Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays coming up, this might be a good time for Sheriff Nygren to leave his Tahoe in the Department parking lot and drive his own personal car, if he owns one, or a rental car to Minocqua, Wisconsin. There is a County policy about taxpayer-supported vehicle use in and out of McHenry County, and truckin' 300 miles to Minocqua isn't in it. Unfortunately, no one around 2200 N. Seminary Ave. is likely to challenge Nygren about abusing County Policy.

In November 2011 he fueled up just before leaving for Minocqua and then apparently right after he got back. He should have filled up upon arrival back in McHenry County and paid for that last tank of gas out of his $145,000/year salary. Did he?

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