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Study claims Harn has too many duties

Harn responsible for more than his state counterparts

OREGON – A Rochelle woman recently told the Ogle County Board that its sheriff has too many duties.

Diane McNeilly said the Ogle County League of Women Voters recently did a study of several Illinois county sheriffs and discovered that the Ogle County sheriff is responsible for more departments, employees, and money than his counterparts.

“It doesn’t allow him enough time to do state-mandated duties,” she told the county board April 15.

Besides overseeing the Sheriff’s and Corrections Departments, Ogle County Sheriff Michael Harn is also in charge of the Ogle County Emergency Management Agency, the county’s Buildings & Grounds, Information Technology, telecommunications, and security for the courts, as well as all county properties.

In all, he oversees more than 80 county employees and a large share of the county’s budget.

“The Ogle County Sheriff is responsible for more departments and funds than other counties surveyed. Checks and balances and supervision can be an issue in delivering services,” the report McNeilly presented read.

McNeilly said the recommendation of the League of Women Voters is that the board remove Buildings & Grounds and Information Technology from the sheriff’s duties and instead appoint a department head for each.

McNeilly said seven of the 11 counties contacted responded to the organization’s request for information.

Ogle County officials did not respond, she said, and officials in three other counties told her Harn requested they not participate.

McNeilly said the three other counties that did not respond were Boone, LaSalle, and Whiteside.

The counties that participated were Carroll, DeKalb, Lee, Kendall, McHenry, Stephenson, and Winnebago.

In none of the responding counties does the sheriff serve as computer services director, maintain the Information Technology System or maintain county buildings.

Winnebago County was the only one where, like Ogle, the sheriff also serves as the Emergency Management Agency director and provides security for all the county’s buildings and grounds.

Harn did not return a phone call seeking his comments for this story.

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