The First Ward Report – Nothing ever changes at the KCSAO – Part II

The First Ward Report – Nothing ever changes at the KCSAO – Part II

If you haven’t yet caught up with the strange Kane County Director of Human Resources Sylvia Wetzel saga, may I humbly suggest you refer to part one before forging ahead here.

Having already covered KCSAO Civil Division head Michele Niermann’s and Chairman Corinne Pierog’s participation in what can only be labelled as a witch hunt, it’s time to move on to the two final players, Civil Division second-in-command Erin Brady and State’s Attorney Jamie Mosser herself.

And while I personally like the beyond talented Ms. Brady, she’s a prime example of Edmund Burke’s accurate admonition, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men and women to do nothing.”

Previous Civil Division Head Joe Lulves may have been a decent attorney in his prime, but he was a complete and utter disaster during Joe McMahon’s tenure, including but not limited to these “greatest hits:”

  • He bungled a response to a simple FOIA request regarding sexual harassment complaints which forced me to sue the State’s Attorney’s Office basically ending McMahon’s political career.
  • He presided over an horrific $5.6 million Maxxam Partners lawsuit settlement, and then the rehab center came into Campton Hills anyway!
  • He failed to adequately review an AFSCME labor contract which now costs the county $1.2 million.
  • He settled a plethora of six-figure lawsuits that should’ve been vigorously defended, particularly in regard to the Sheriff’s Office.
  • His failure to fight those lawsuits doubled Kane County’s liability insurance premiums.

The Lulves situation got so bad that Republican County Board members started regularly showing up in McMahon’s office to complain about the ongoing Civil Division screwups. McMahon always promised he’d do something about it, but of course, he never did.

I know that Brady was intimately aware of each and every one of those disasters, but instead of stepping up and doing the right thing, or even trying to fix it, she did nothing for fear of losing her job. And the Kane County taxpayer has greatly suffered as a result.

To be fair, she wasn’t the only one who silently sat by, but she was in the best position to right the sinking ship.

Fast forward to 2020, and as we outlined in part one, it would be abundantly safe to say that Michele Niermann’s Civil Division reign hasn’t been an improvement. Once again, as Niermann insisted on extracting her pound of flesh from Wetzel’s hide, Brady did nothing to stop it for fear of losing her job.

While I expect nothing from a sociopath attorney, I expect a lot more from someone who clearly knows the difference between right and wrong. My question is, when do the people of Kane County get to stop paying for Ms. Brady’s poor personal decisions.

All that said, the most baffling part of this bizarre tale has to be State’s Attorney Jamie Mosser’s participation.

Trust me! I Understand there’s only so much any elected official can do just four months into a four-year term, particularly with an organization the size of the KCSAO. That’s why I originally believed this scheme was the solely the result of Niermann’s vendetta. But as the details became clearer, it became evident that Mosser was not only aware of this travesty, but she was a willing participant.

I applied the word “baffling” because when Mosser and I sat down at Colonial Café on the fateful day she decided to run and the first thing we discussed was the desperate need to change that corrupt and oppressive KCSAO culture.

She knew exactly what I meant, too, because she was treated so poorly that she left that office in 2015 after ten long years of excellent public service.

Throughout the campaign, we also frequently discussed the four attorneys who had to be dismissed from that office or they’d undermine her leadership every step of the way and bring her down via a vast incompetence.

And here we are!

I could almost chalk her errors up to inexperience if she hadn’t worked for the office for ten years and the Wetzel “probe’s” hadn’t shifted to going after former Chairman Chris Lauzen.  Without Lauzen’s direction and support, Mosser wouldn’t be as much as a blip on the KCSAO radar. She’d still be struggling in a faltering private practice.

So, one of two things – or perhaps both – are happening right now.

The first is, with Niermann failing to find any wrongdoing on Wetzel’s or Lauzen’s part, the KCSAO is taking the shotgun approach to “uncovering” the most tangential evidence that would minimally support this inquisition.

The second is, with Chairman Pierog seemingly ready to back down, and with Wetzel hiring no-nonsense attorney Pat Kinnally, Mosser is attempting to devise a graceful way of extracting her sorry behind from this mess. But instead of being a leader, she’s trying to make everyone happy which always makes everything worse.

Do I still harbor hope for Mosser’s return to some semblance of sanity? No! Not anymore. The absurd lapses we’ve already covered belie an utter inability to lead, an incapacity to understand what it means to be a state’s attorney, a capacity to act only in her own best interest, and a willingness to use the KCSAO to extend her own power and influence.

Ms. Mosser did finally respond to my request for comment yesterday morning, and it was downright embarrassing diatribe rife with personal attacks, false accusations, and a continuing inability to understand any reasonable application of the law. It read like the incoherent ramblings of a drunk teenage girl.

I suppose I’m no longer surprised.

The bottom line is, though I have very little respect for the man, Bob Spence would’ve been a far better state’s attorney. And now I have to correct another mistake. You’d a thunk I’d have learned by now.

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