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'Increased performance on all levels'

Published: Friday, March 14, 2014 1:15 a.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, Feb. 29, 2016 9:37 a.m. CDT
Michael Harn

Recent media accounts, which reflected poorly upon myself, the sheriff’s office, and the Ogle County Board, were found to be a sham political stunt perpetrated upon taxpayers and voters by both of my opponents.

Joe Drought began this charade with his whisper-rumor campaign, and Brian VanVickle took Drought’s idea and promoted the fraud to new heights.

Ogle County Board Chairman Kim Gouker did an investigation and learned the seemingly objective spokesman for the “concerned citizens” happens to be a close personal friend, supporter, and godfather of Brian VanVickle, one of my opponents.

His “impassioned plea” for a forensic audit was accompanied by a seemingly objective letter from a retired forensic auditor, who just happens to be filed with the Illinois Board of Elections as VanVickle’s campaign treasurer. Please visit the Ogle County Sheriff’s Facebook page to read the entire seamy account.

Now, I would like to address the facts and truth of my administration, and the accomplishments of my employees.

I have 29 years of service in the Ogle County Sheriff’s Office, including the past 3 years as sheriff.

My first priority has been, and will continue to be, public safety. A safe county is an attractive county, and when the economy improves, will help to attract investment and economic development.

As sheriff, I have operated each of the past 3 years on a budget slashed to near 2007 levels. Despite working on a vastly reduced budget, we have returned a record $1.3 million of unspent budgeted money to the county general fund since I took office.

When I became sheriff, I learned we had an unfunded liability of approximately $950,000 from comp time and vacation time on the books. I have reduced that excessive amount to about $230,000 today.

I have increased income for Ogle County, via our U.S. Marshall’s contract for housing federal detainees, which accounts for more than $1,000,000 a year in income.

We have increased our performance on all levels. Proactive policing has led to an annual increase of four times in our arrests, with warrant arrests increased by more than 50 percent a year. Burglaries the past 3 years have been cleared at a rate of 72 percent versus a national average of just 12 percent. 

Our jail has housed 30 percent more detainees than before I became sheriff, and we have invested in the facility’s infrastructure with no increase in spending. 

Our buildings and grounds have never looked better, with the beautification we have accomplished, and we’ve done this for much less money than the previous sheriff spent. 

Our returned, unspent budgeted money last year broke a record – my record from the previous year. Every aspect of the Ogle County Sheriff’s Office was reorganized, and people were held accountable for performance.

The results speak for themselves. I ask the people of Ogle County for their votes so that I may continue to lead the sheriff’s office as a true fiscal conservative.

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