Quick Hits – June 7, 2017

Like I said, no shame!

So former Elgin State Senator, Michael Noland, who just sued the State for back pay, finally responded to the press via a statement issued through his attorney. To prevent  your head from immediately exploding as mine almost did, I’ll simply cover the “highlights,” which include, but aren’t nearly limited to:

  • Noland called the lawsuit “necessary.”
  • He filed it to “protect and vindicate the independence of each legislator of the General Assembly.”
  • He said those votes against the cost-of-living increases and raises were politically motivated.
  • And he felt those votes “required my very reluctant support.”

Our mendacious former Senator concluded; “It is my hope that the court will remedy these constitutional violations and that the General Assembly will stop using these gimmicks for political advantage.”

Noland 2

Enter a caption

Yes! That’s the Mike Noland we all know and love – always looking out for his peers and “reform” is his middle name.

Does this Noland quote sound “very reluctant” to you? “Until we do this [structural budget reform], the least we can do is cut our own pay awing. I know most working families in Illinois are not seeing raises this year, so we shouldn’t either.”

The good news is, this suit doesn’t stand an iceberg’s chance in hell. Had those salary adjustments been thrust upon him by Governor Quinn, Noland would win. But it’s an entirely different story when you vote to cut your own pay, no matter how “reluctant” you were at the time.

I’d say this insipid lawsuit marks the end of Noland’s political career, but the man is so tone deaf that I know he’ll be back. As soon as he believes the voters aren’t paying attention he’ll run for something to try to pay the bills.

But don’t worry Mike! I’ll always be there to remind the voters of who you really are!

 

A sad story

One of the perks of this particular gig is getting to meet some truly top notch people. I know it’s fashionable to bash politicians and public officials, but despite all its woes, Illinois does play host to some exemplary public servants.

In that very vein, during my short time with the Courier-News, I had the pleasure of speaking with Elgin Police Commander Glenn Theriault a number of times. He clearly loved his job, he was always forthcoming with the press and he was generally helpful. We even joked about him heading up his own department someday.

So I was saddened to learn that Theriault just resigned as Sycamore Police Chief.

Theriault

Glenn Theriault

For brief background purposes, in April, a Sycamore police officer stopped and arrested an Elgin Police sergeant on suspicion of DUI. Theriault, who used to work with the officer, headed into the police station, spoke with an Elgin Police commander and released the sergeant with no charges.

What the papers aren’t telling you is, recognizing their monochromatic police force was becoming a bit insular, the Sycamore City Council decided to hire an outsider to bring it into the 21st Century. But Theriault was never truly accepted by the rank and file, who firmly believed their new chief should’ve come from within.

So when the arresting officer learned of the EPD sergeant’s release, he immediately went to the press and sold out his chief.

Did Glenn make a mistake? You bet he did! But his real error was going old-school at a time when social media and cell phone cameras have rendered those practices obsolete. Back in the day, you always let your brothers in blue off the hook.

Though it’s not an excuse, moving from the Elgin to the Sycamore Police Department is the very definition of culture shock. I AM NOT CASTING ASPERSIONS, but my discussions with EPD Chief Jeff Swoboda and Aurora Police Chief Kristen Ziman are materially different from those with smaller municipality chiefs.

The bottom line is, Glenn Theriault is a good guy and I truly hope he comes back from this one to find a scenario that will be a much better fit.

5 thoughts on “Quick Hits – June 7, 2017

  1. since when should police be exempt from breaking the law? Do you think you’d be afforded that same luxury?

    • John,

      Did you read my piece or someone else’s? And considering the number of my columns you’ve read, you, of all people, should know I’m far from soft on law enforcement. Just ask the Geneva Police.

      I simply told the story as it occurred. I never said there shouldn’t have been consequences, I took no issue with Sycamore letting the chief go and I clearly said the Chief made a mistake.

      Jeff

  2. I have known Glenn for a number of years. A good cop, a good man and I am proud to have worked with him.

  3. Their last Chief was from outside their community and he did just fine.

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