Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Deputy Charges Undersheriff Tipped Campaign Contributor Target
McHenry County Sheriff's Sergeant John Koziol Tuesday filed a request for a Special Prosecutor to investigate his charge of misconduct. According to Koziol, in July Zinke told businessman and Sheriff's Merit Commission member Brian Goode that DEA planned to intercept a two-ton marijuana shipment destined for his Rita Corporation plant in Crystal Lake. State Board of Elections records show Goode was the biggest contributor to Sheriff Keith Nygren's prior election campaigns and Rita Corporation is the current address of "Citizens to Elect Zinke."
A check with area law enforcement officials confirms there's been no mega-marijuana bust, DEA or otherwise, in the area during the past five months.
Koziol was the former head of the McHenry County Sheriff's narcotics unit but, according to a knowledgeable source, in late August or early September he was reassigned to the patrol division without explanation.
Zinke, in a statement Tuesday, called Koziol a "disgruntled employee" whose complaint, he said, "puts DEA officers in jeopardy." Zinke said he couldn't specifically rebut the allegations because of the DEA investigation.
Koziol's complaint says he's asking for a Special Prosecutor because McHenry County State's Attorney Lou Bianchi, the official lawyer for the Sheriff's Office, can't investigate due to a conflict of interest. Bianchi Tuesday declined comment saying he hadn't read Koziol's complaint yet.
First moves in the case are set for 9 am Thursday before McHenry County Judge Thomas Meyer, the same judge who this April turned down another deputy's request for a Special Prosecutor to investigate alleged Nygren wrongdoing. The attorney in that case and a still-pending federal complaint, Blake Horwitz, said Tuesday, "If this is true, I wish someone would do something and do it fast to stop the corruption in the McHenry County Sheriff's Office."
In the pic: Ex-Sheriff's Office narcotics head John Koziol (left) with McHenry County Sheriff Keith Nygren (right) at a back-patting ceremony last year. (Crystal Lake Patch photo.)