Quick Hits – January 16, 2020

Quick Hits – January 16, 2020

It’s down to two!

Though I firmly believe a number of applicants’ resumes are superior to the two finalists, our remaining Kane County associate judge contenders are Bill Engerman and Reggie Campbell.

And as we’ve previously discussed, Engerman is just another old white male prosecutor with a beyond questionable misogynist history and a capacity to quickly lose his cool in court. Do we really need another prosecutor with absolutely no other legal experience serving on the bench?

Meanwhile, Reggie Campbell is a well-regarded and well-rounded black attorney who not only spent four years in the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office, but has almost 20 years of legal experience as a partner in a longstanding Aurora law firm that serves a variety of clients.

So, in a Circuit where the judges are 70 percent male, 83 percent white, and 0 percent black, considering that Campbell’s clearly the better candidate, it would seem those full circuit judges have been blessed with one of those too-rare obvious choices this existence rarely presents.

Please don’t disappoint me and particularly the people of Kane County Your Honors!


It ain’t any better at probation!

Seeing Director of Court Services Lisa Aust at this morning’s Kane Count Board Judicial and Public Safety committee meeting reminded me that I’ve been meaning to follow up on the fallout from last summer’s probation worker’s strike.

Sadly, there’s no happy ending here.

My myriad of sources have been remarkably consistent in their tales of Aust and Court Services management targeting the strikers in an effort to get them to quit. And by “targeting” I mean using bogus grievances to go after them.

It starts with a criminal defendant on probation filing a formal grievance against their probation worker. That’s not uncommon because they know how to game the system and those staffer’s caseloads are so absurdly large that’s it’s difficult to do an effective job.

That would generally be no big deal, but here’s the catch! Someone deep within the local Teamsters Union recently reached out to explain that every single grievance Aust has pursued since the walkout has been against a striker. Complaints against non-striking staff simply get thrown in the circular file.

Lisa Aust

At least one former probation worker simply set his keys on the desk and walked out of the office as a result of this BS.

What’s the real irony you ask? The real irony is, one of the managers who’s doing all the dirty work is on probation for a recent DUI. And the reason Ms. Aust didn’t fire him outright, as she should have, is she knows she has him by the short hairs and he will unerringly do her bidding.

So, where are the Teamsters, you ask? I wish I knew! Not only did they completely mismanage the strike, but President Dominic Romanazzi and Local 330 have inexplicably thrown these probation workers to the wolves.  To wit, I just called the national Teamsters office and tore them a new one.

So, Chief Judge Hull! Since you deserve a vast amount of credit for so swiftly resolving the Judge John Dalton problem, here’s another one. We clearly need a new director of Court Services because no probation officer should EVER have to work under these circumstances.

Please feel free to call me in this regard.

Normally, I would’ve reached out to Ms. Aust in this regard, but she’s never responded to any of my eminently congenial overtures, so what’s the point? Ah well! I suppose there’s always next month’s Judicial and Public Safety meeting.

I’ll be there!


Dave Rickert’s Statement

Since we’ve already run Chairman Chris Lauzen’s statement, it’s time to print the Republican Kane County Chairman nominee’s! Here’s what Treasurer Dave Rickert had to say at yesterday’s press conference:

“I would like to thank each of you for coming here today as I kick off my campaign for County Chairman. The outpouring of support for my campaign has been utterly over-whelming. I am truly honored to have the backing of current County Chairman Chris Lauzen. Chris has dedicated his career to public service. First, as an accomplished legislator in the Illinois State Senate; then, serving as County Board Chairman diligently protecting the interests of taxpayers by running a lien efficient county. Chris has established high standard of accomplishment for the next chairman to follow. I also appreciate the advice, encouragement of the elected officials and dignitaries that are in attendance today.


Growing up in Kane County and now raising my family here, I have a very strong attachment to the Fox River Valley with all the benefits it has to offer. It does not seem too long ago that I graduated from Dundee-Crown High School and served both in the Army and Army Reserve. As a beneficiary of the G.I. bill, I was able to afford the expense of going to college. First, I attended Elgin Community College and earned my associate degree. From there, I pursued my degree bachelor’s degree in Finance at Northern Illinois University and was eventually able to complete my education with a master’s degree from Roosevelt University.

My up-bringing and military experience both provided me the drive to push toward higher education and to use my skills in the serve my country. The position of Chairman has been on my mind for many years, if elected, I plan to continue to carefully consider the needs of the taxpayers and direct the County government to meet those needs in the most efficient manner possible. As Treasurer have always strove to bring the highest quality of work and service to my office in the most efficient manner possible. I hope to bring this same can-do attitude in serving all the departments at the County. It is my intention to provide a listening ear and be a voice for all commonsense initiatives that will provide improved services and lower costs. I want to thank all of your advice wisdom and support.”

I think Dave will make a great chairman.

6 thoughts on “Quick Hits – January 16, 2020

  1. The position of Chairman has been on my mind for many years,
    Truer words have probably never been spoken

    After he wins is his replacement picked by Republican Committee men as he is a Republican or will there be a special election? I assume the Republicans will just pick as is cheaper and only a year or so left in term

    1. Jim, no, once the treasurer’s post is officially vacated, which will likely be within minutes of his swearing-in as county board chairman, assuming he wins the general election which he should, Rickert can make an appointment to replace himself as treasurer.

      Now, will Rickert his chief deputy to replace him on his first day as county board chairman, or will he go through the motions and want to collect resumes from interested applicants and use the entire 60 days? Depends if he has the 13 votes from the county board members to give advise & consent and make Rickert’s appointment legal.

      His replacement will have to be a Republican, as in having cast a Republican ballot at the March 17, 2020, primary.

  2. Jeff, can you update the picture you have of Rickert? That photo looks 10 years old. He’s much heavier and greyer now that he’s in his early 50s.

    It remains to be seen how outstanding a county board chairman Rickert will be. Remember, Rickert did not win a wide open Republican primary like Mike McCoy, Karen McConnaughay and Chris Lauzen did.

    Rickert was slated under the pretense of Board Chairman Chris Lauzen seeking a 3rd term, gathering petitions with the help of scores of people passing his petitions many of whom did not think Lauzen would withdraw them.

    And let’s remember the county board right now is 12-12 between Republicans and Democrats and while a few Democrats were loyal to Lauzen. But with the the exception of Debra Allen, the other Lauzen-Democrats may not be friendly/loyal to Rickert.

    And what of the real possibility the Democrats win an outright majority on the county board, which will also bring a Democratic forest preserve district president?

    Between now and his swearing-in, it’ll be interesting to see how Rickert consolidates power, and if he has the political muscle to do that. Who wins election as county Republican chairman in April will be a good indicator. If Ken Shepro wins a 2nd full term, and Shepro will be on the county board in December with Rickert, you know Shepro will join the Davoust/Scheflow/Kenyon Republican faction.

    I hope the best for Rickert, but most of the people who are strong Rickert loyalists are in their 70s or 80s, and Rickert could end up being a weak chairman.

    One other thought, Rickert has never served in a legislative body at any time in his life. His elected predecessors all had this experience, though Lauzen was not ever a county board member, he was a 20-year member of the state senate.

    1. John,

      There are very few photos of Dave on the Net and the few there are owned by the Daily Herald and, despite regularly giving Sue Sarkauskas stories, they go fuckin’ apeshit when I use one of their pictures.

      Don’t underestimate Dave Rickert’s electoral acumen! He was an instrumental source for my book and he faced down the full weight of the McConnaughay machine to become Treasurer. He’s certainly not afraid of hard work.

      So, helping him avoid a primary wasn’t to spare him the effort, it was to keep his campaign coffers full. Were he on other side of a campaign, Dave is one of the few people who would make me nervous.

      Oh! And speaking of campaigns, I guarantee you that Mark Davoust will NOT win. I am currently in the process of repaying and old political “favor.”

      The bottom line is, unlike the Chairman and yours truly, Dave can work with anyone. He’ll be just fine!

  3. I was a juvenile probation officer who was hatred for being a conservative and for questioning their methods. I have been blacked balled by Lisa Aust and her department which has cost me many employment opportunities. I would love to talk with you about this.

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