Quick Hits – If you’re gonna do patronage, you may as well be blatant!

We briefly touched on this topic last Wednesday, postponing the full story pending a response from Kane County Sheriff Ron Hain. But when you’ve just hired a prime political ally to a $72,000 a year part-time job for which they’re utterly unqualified, what could you possibly say to defend yourself?

Hain 2

So, the Sheriff said nothing. But he did photobomb a picture of an injured seven-year-old girl in a shameless self-promotional stunt intended to misdirect the voters. But we won’t let that happen, will we?

To that end, let’s more thoroughly examine this hire:

1. Just four applicants?

It would seem Sheriff Hain had Elgin City Councilman Corey Dixon in mind all along because all a 35-hour week at 72 grand a year position with Cadillac benefits package managed to muster was just four applicants.

That certainly makes one wonder where this gig was actually posted and if anyone was actually interviewed.

According to the job description, it’s not the toughest gig on the planet, either. Here are the top four “Essential functions and Responsibilities:

  • Provides a broad range of moderate to highly complex administrative support and serves as aide to the Sheriff of Kane County in duties of a strict confidential matter;
  • Adheres to strict confidentiality with sensitive information; addresses urgent matters appropriately and timely;
  • Manages availability, rescheduling, and ensuring all requests are being addressed in a timely manner;
  • Uses independent judgment, determines priority attention;

That sounds like something right out of Monty Python’s Flying Circus. Apparently, applicants have to be timely, confidential, and be able to read a calendar. Even I could handle that!

And just 35 hours? Word on the street is Hain wanted to give Dixon time to pursue his political ambitions outside the office.

2. Dixon is the least qualified candidate

All purposely poorly written job descriptions aside, Kane County’s newest “Senior Assistant Director of Administration” really should have some management background. But having seen his resume, Councilman Dixon hasn’t managed a single soul in his entire life.

And that became apparent when I advised his city council campaign team. He couldn’t manage them to the point where he ended up hiding from some of them.

The pinnacle of his employment history is as a basic Department of Human Services caseworker, and while that’s certainly a laudable endeavor, it in no way prepares you for a management position in the largest public office in Kane County.

Meanwhile, one applicant had been a site supervisor for the Oswego Park District, another is the Sheriff’s current Office Manager, who was a natural fit and supremely qualified for the job, and the third and most impressive candidate has a master’s degree in public administration.

The truth is, Dixon should’ve been out of the running the second a second resume was submitted, and if he had any moral center, he never would’ve taken the job.

3. Dixon is no friend of law enforcement

So, how is he going to “direct” a Sheriff’s office staff that has absolutely no respect for him? How do you think I found out about this hire so quickly? Dixon, along with pointless Elgin City Councilwoman, Tish Powell, has been the leader of the lynch mob calling for Elgin Police Lieutenant Chris Jensen’s head on a pike.

Jensen was the officer who shot and killed DeCynthia Clements during that ill-fated 2018 I-90 traffic stop in which she basically committed suicide by cop. Before any of the three investigations were complete, Dixon regularly demanded that Jensen be fired.

And the reaction to this incredibly misguided pandering effort has been swift and severe. I’d print what some of Elgin’s finest privately said about Dixon’s hire and the Sheriff in particular, but this is a family blog.

In the end, you really have to give the Sheriff credit for completely alienating the second largest police department in Kane County, every last one of his own deputies, and his entire civilian staff in one fell swoop. All I can say is that kind of political suicide takes real skill.

 

And this is exactly the kind of blatant bleep that Hain regularly railed against his predecessor for, calling most of Don Kramer’s commander hires unqualified. And I should know because I was his campaign manager. I guess what Ron really meant to say was it was only OK if he did it.

On Wednesday (5/22), we’ll examine why this obvious conflict of interest means a sitting Elgin City Councilman cannot work for the Kane County Sheriff’s Office and be effective in either role.

10 thoughts on “Quick Hits – If you’re gonna do patronage, you may as well be blatant!

  1. Wow! This reminds me of the Dave Kaptain 2014 appointment of Rose Martinez to a council seat. Nevermind that of the three falsely assembled finalists for the appointment, Rose was the LEAST qualified on paper and gave the worst interview for a job I have ever seen. Mayor Weakling wanted a Hispanic female first and last. Forget the others, they don’t fit the pander order mayor Weakling and the others on the council placed.

    Remember, the people in Elgin who vote don’t care about bad things Libs/Dems do. The Martinez appointment was OK. And this will be OK. You wait and see.

  2. I don’t know anything about Dixon’s background. I do like the fact that the job requires strict confidentiality so he will never answer a question. If Dixon is married or has kids Hain should have just hired them. What happens if a Kane County Deputy is ever called to back up Elgin police and the deputy hurts someone in making an arrest? What hat will Dixon wear? Councilman? Sheriff’s employee? Or the whatever I can gain outa this hat?

  3. Wait Jeff, didnt you run Hains’ campaign?

    • Pete,

      I said that right there in the column. I also significantly helped Corey Dixon. That’s why I’m generally out of the game now.

      My loyalty is the truth!

  4. In jest I say, I guess you lost any hope of a patronage job for yourself. Dale Carnegie would not endorse this.

  5. Jeff, as you will acknowledge, I rarely comment on any of your articles but I do look at them periodically. I do not have an opinion to share on this other than to mention to you something that I suspect you should know already given your previous connection to the county yourself. You keep referring to this position as a “part time” job. Since most County offices work from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm and nearly all have one hour for lunch period, 35 hours is not part time at all. That is also a standard in many jobs having no connection to Kane County. This is not meant to speak to the correctness or lack thereof regarding this hiring and these people, only a correction on your thinking about the time frame.

    • Linda,

      I always appreciate it when you comment!

      And yes! Like you, I did work for Jack Cunningham, but with 17 years of database/business consulting (Wrigley, SBC, Philips Electronics, Morton Salt, USG, etc… I was overqualified for the job. Not only that, but after some of the stuff I’d written about Jack in the Sun-Times suburban papers, like the irony of the guy who kicks people off the ballot getting kicked off the ballot, I’m shocked he hired me.

      Second, the average county work week is 37.5 hours and not 35. Through my due diligence, he’s the only County employee I can find that works 7 hours a day, which is, indeed, part-time. My guess is Dixon works four longer days a week.

      Lastly, the job description, which I referred to verbatim, but should post in it’s entirety, is a complete joke. It says absolutely nothing with is pretty much what Dixon will do.

      Jeff

    • Linda,

      But the real issue is, this may well be the stupidest political hire I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen a lot of stupid political hires.

  6. Makes you want to be a Republican…!!

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