Upon first meeting Kane County Chairman Corinne Pierog, you’ll likely be impressed. She’ll gently take your hand and surround it with hers, she’ll tilt her head to the right like the best doting grandmother, and then she’ll look you straight in the eye and make you feel like the most important person in the room.
But rest assured, she won’t hear a single word you say because it’s nothing more than a narcissistic ploy to get on your good side – particularly if she believes you can advance her political career.
Though she hides it well, the truth is, Pierog is even more insecure, spiteful, and politically cutthroat than former Chairman Karen McConnaughay was, and my long-time readers know exactly the magnitude of that statement!
And our continuing coverage of the sad Human Resources Director Sylvia Wetzel saga is a perfect example of Pierog’s vast Machiavellian capacity. To wit, last week, after presiding over a closed-to-the-public Kane County Board kangaroo court, Pierog fired her.
And when I say “kangaroo court” I mean KCSAO Civil Division chief witch hunter Michelle Neirmann provided no documentation of Wetzel’s purported malfeasance, presented one biased “witness” who offered wholly unsupported testimony, and Wetzel wasn’t even allowed to be there to defend herself.
Then Wetzel was fired by a 23 to 0 Board vote.
Please don’t forget that we previously discussed how Wetzel had the temerity to stand up to Niermann’s persistent bullying, not the least of which fighting workman’s compensation claims in which her husband represented folks suing the County. No conflict of interest there, right?
And the vastest of ironies in this Shakespearean tragedy is that those County Board proceedings were entirely unnecessary! Illinois is an “at will” state, and since Wetzel had no employment contract, she could’ve been fired for no reason whatsoever!
Ah! But because Pierog’s primary campaign tenet was “treating everyone at the County with the utmost respect,” this theatre of the absurd will cost Kane County taxpayers somewhere around the half-a-million-dollar mark.
Think about it! Wetzel received 2.5 months of salary and benefits ($41,666) while on “administrative leave.” The “independent” law firm who “investigated” the “accusations” will charge the County at least $100,000 and probably more (I’ll FOIA the final expense). Then the KCSAO will certainly settle Wetzel’s inevitable lawsuit for somewhere in the mid six-figures.
And all those taxpayer dollars were and will be expended solely so Pierog could maintain her narcissistic grandmotherly façade and Niermann could exact her monthly pound of flesh.
But just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, it does! Apparently unhappy with simply trying to destroy Wetzel’s career, Niermann topped it off by resorting to the worst kind of character assassination.
During the closed session discussion before the public Board vote to fire Wetzel, Niermann claimed there’d already been “retaliation” as a result of her “investigation.” Apparently, the “witness” had to be escorted in and out of Building A by a Sheriff’s deputy because someone had previously lifted the windshield wipers on her car.
Be still my beating heart! If they think that’s a threat, considering my absurd life, I should have a three-deputy detail assigned to me 24/7.
Then Niermann had the nerve to tell the board that some scoundrel similarly flattened one of her tires! I spoke with the Sheriff who confirmed that every major County Parking lot – and particularly the courthouse variety – are lined with the kind of high-res cameras that would’ve identified the culprit and/or their vehicle in a flash.
Do you really think those judges are gonna take any chances with their Mercedes and Infiniis? Are we really supposed to believe that a highly paid professional employee is so embittered over politics as usual that she’d resort to the stupidest forms of “vandalism?”
So, let’s get our scorecards out and sum it all up!
State’s Attorney Jamie Mosser looked me squarely in the eye at our initial campaign meeting and swore that this kind of thing would NEVER happen if she were elected. That tells you everything you need to know about the value of her word and her vast lack of character.
Michelle Niermann was allowed to purse yet another of her infamous vendettas because Pierog wants to be able to hire her own people and Mosser gave it all the green light. There’s much more to this, too, but I can’t go public with it yet.
But the worst perp here is Civil Division second-in-command Erin Brady who actually does know right from wrong. That is a real rarity at the KCSAO. But, once again, she simply sat back and watched this travesty unfold without a word. Ms. Brady is the perfect personification of the “all it takes for evil to flourish is for good men to do nothing” parable.
I wonder what her father, retired DeKalb Judge William P. Brady thinks about his daughter these days?
But what really frosts my flakes is, if it was former Chairman Chris Lauzen blowing six-figures for political theater’s sake, the Daily Herald and Kane County Chronicle would’ve torn him a front page new one – for four straight days. But there’s been nary a word from either paper as they slide even further into irrelevance.
The only good news here is, just six months in, Pierog’s thin veneer that barely deflects her real personality is falling away faster than Rudy Giuliani’s legal and political career. And, trust me, getting rid of Wetzel in this despicable a manner is only the beginning.
As always, I promise to keep you posted!