Tag Archives: Pat Perez

Kane County Sheriff, DEA hosts prescription drug seminar at KHS

Photo: The Kane County Sheriff’s Office and the DEA Tactical Diversion Unit on Feb. 13, provided a presentation to staff, faculty and parents on the dangers of prescription drug abuse. The event took place in the Kaneland High School Auditorium. Kane County Sheriff Pat Perez talks about the perscription drug disposal program. Photo by Kimberly Anderson

by Mary Parrilli
KANE COUNTY—Members of the Kane County Sheriff’s Office and DEA presented a seminar on the illegal use of prescription drugs on Feb. 13 at Kaneland High School.

A similar presentation was held at Harter Middle School about one year ago. Due to some current issues at KHS, Kane County Sheriff Patrick Perez wanted to host another event—this time at the high school level.

“I’m not saying that there is an overwhelming prescription-drug-use problem at the high school, but we wanted to educate parents and Kaneland staff about the increasing use of prescription drugs among high school and college-aged kids,” he said. “We wanted to teach parents how to make their homes safer.”

Perez, two Kane County Sheriff’s deputies and three DEA agents from Chicago presented to parents and faculty a few choice topics on the illegal use of prescription drugs.

“One thing that parents need to realize is that just because a drug has a prescription, it doesn’t mean that it’s safe,” Perez said.

Perez explained that most painkillers are opiates, which are highly addictive. Kids often take them thinking that it will give them a buzz, not realizing that they are addictive substances. Many times, the use of prescription painkillers leads to the use of heroin.

One of the easiest ways that kids can get a hold of these drugs is via their parents’ prescriptions, Perez said. Often times, a parent has a surgery, or is prescribed something, and then doesn’t finish the whole bottle. In some instances, the kids then steal from the parents’ prescription, and either take the pills themselves, or sell them for anywhere between $20 and $30 per pill. There are even some high school kids who attend various open house events, and go through medicine cabinets, grab what they can, and then turn around and sell the pills.

“It’s not just painkillers, though—high school and college kids, in order to stay up all night or cram for tests, often use Aderall, which is a stimulant,” Perez said. “It puts a lot of pressure on the ones who really need the drug for their ADHD.”

According to Perez, some kids even host or attend “pharma-parties,” where everyone brings a grab bag of pills and places it in a big bowl, which then acts like a candy bowl, free for the taking. Kids often times don’t even know what drug they’re ingesting.

At the presentation, the DEA members handed out prescription drug identification charts to aid parents in the discovery of pills.

Perez and his team discussed ways to prevent the illegal diversion of pharmaceuticals. The biggest thing that people can do is simply not make them available. If you get a prescription, keep it hidden or locked up, away from your kids.

“When parents leave their medications out in the open, this creates what we call a “crime of opportunity,” the same as if you left your iPod sitting in your car, in view, and someone stole it,” Perez said.

It is also important to dispose of the pills properly. Perez doesn’t recommend flushing the pills down the toilet, as they may contaminate the water supply. He does recommend using the Sheriff’s Office prescription drug drop box, located at the office, 37W755 Route 38 in St. Charles, open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays. All you have to do is drop your pillbox into the drop box. The DEA then picks up the pills and takes them to an incinerator to dispose of them properly.

“I strongly recommend and encourage people to use (the drug drop box). It is the safest and easiest way for prescription drug disposal,” Perez said.

About 15 people showed up to the event on Wednesday. Perez said he was a little disappointed with the lack of participation by the Kaneland community.

“I thought the presentation went very well for those of whom came by,” he said. “I just really want parents to be educated about this, since prescription drugs are the fastest rising in drug choice for young adults and teenagers.”

Sugar Grove teen receives 2011 Roscoe Ebey Award

Photo: On Nov. 17, Kane County Sheriff Pat Perez (right) presented Cole Rutter, 13, of Sugar Grove with the Roscoe Ebey Citizen of the Year Award. The event took place at the Sheriff’s Office in Geneva. Richard Ebey (left) was also in attendance. Photo by Keith Beebe

by Keith Beebe
KANE COUNTY—The Kane County Sheriff’s Office presented its Roscoe Ebey Award to three nominees each of the last two years. This year, however, Sheriff Pat Perez knew that one nominee truly stood out from the rest of the field.

That nominee was 13-year-old Cole Rutter of Sugar Grove.

“The last two years we’ve presented this award, the choices that I had were so difficult … that there were three winners in each year, because there were so many people doing so many good things,” Perez said. “This year, (Cole) stood out so much that there was only going to be one winner.”

Rutter was presented the 2011 Roscoe Ebey Award by Sheriff Perez and Richard Ebey, son of the late Roscoe Ebey, on Nov. 17 in a surprise ceremony at the Sheriff’s Office in St. Charles.

Rutter, a seventh-grade student at Kaneland Harter Middle School, suffers from the rare genetic disorder Neurofibromatosis. He and his family have helped raise close to $100,000 for The Children’s Tumor Foundation to fund research in hopes of finding a cure for NF—a disease in which tumors grow on tissue in the nervous system, causing symptoms that range from cognitive deficiency and problems with eyesight to bone deformity, nerve pain, and in some cases, hearing loss.

Neurofibromatosis is currently incurable.

“(Fundraising) has exposed him to a lot more kids and adults that have the disease, and it’s kind of making him aware of what’s going on,” said Cole’s father Dan, who spoke for his shy son during most of the awards ceremony. “We’re very proud of him. He does a lot; he goes door-to-door, (and) we have a lot of support from the community.”

Cole’s father said neither he nor Cole, prior to the award ceremony, had any idea why the Kane County Sheriff’s Office wanted to present Cole with the Roscoe Ebey Award.

“We had no idea. We went on the (web)site and saw what it was all about, but we had no reason to understand why (Cole would receive the award). I work at an elementary school, and the phone rang and said, ‘Sheriff’s Department’ on it,” he said. “I kind of freaked out, and they said (the call was) about Cole. (The administrative assistant) said it was a good thing and they wanted to speak to him and offer him this award. So it was kind of nerve wracking; I wasn’t going to pick (the phone) up, but we did.”

Pat Graceffa, a past recipient of the Roscoe Ebey Award, nominated Cole for this year’s award after following his story on his parents’ Facebook account.

“When I received the award (in 2010), I thought of all the people in Sugar Grove who did so much more than I did,” Graceffa said. “Families like the Rutters were the first ones I thought of who deserved the award more than me. It was wonderful to win the award, but it made you think about what everyone else in the community is doing and how hard they are working.”

The award was created four years ago by the Kane County Sheriff’s Department in honor of World War II veteran Roscoe Ebey, a resident of Aurora who was murdered in his home by a burglar in May 2007. Ebey’s assailant, Hector Mauricio, was arrested at the scene after a neighbor captured him and held him down until police arrived. Mauricio pleaded guilty in September 2010 to first-degree murder and was sentenced to 60 years in prison in June 2011.

Richard Ebey said that, from day one to the final court date for Mauricio, Sheriff Perez was there to answer his questions or simply just to talk to him. Ebey then personally nominated Perez for the 2011 Roscoe Ebey Award.

“My family and myself would like to nominate Sheriff Perez and his department for all the help and kindness he has shown me, my family, neighbors and friends over the last four years. I am sure there are many who will share this nomination with me,” Ebey said.

Ebey said his father Roscoe was just an everyday person who loved people and life.

“When this happened to you and your family, it happened to us,” Perez said to Ebey during the presentation. “We’re friends for life.”

Perez then said he hopes Cole understands how big of an award this is and how much he means to people.

“It’s a big award for a little guy, and we’re proud of you,” Ebey said to Cole. “My dad would be proud of you.”

Sheriff’s Charity Car/Motorcycle Raffle raises $10,000 for Special Olympics

ELBURN—The 5th Annual Charity Car/Motorcycle Show brought in $10,000 for Special Olympics and attracted 145 cars, trucks and motorcycles. This year’s show, sponsored by Kane County Sheriff Pat Perez, took place on Sept. 3 at the Martin Family Farm on Green Road.

Perez will donate the proceeds from next year’s show to the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation.

Call (630) 816-9535 or (630) 377-7250 for more information.

Letter: A thank you to Kane County

I would like to take this time to thank the hard-working men and women of Kane County for their efforts during this recent snowstorm.

The employees of the Kane County Sheriff’s Office, Office of Emergency Management, the dispatchers of KaneComm, the plow drivers of KDOT, IDOT and all Township Highway Departments, local fire departments and the Good Samaritans who volunteered their services by snowmobile all deserve thanks and praise. During the most difficult conditions, they all worked in a coordinated effort for the safety of those in need of assistance under very difficult circumstances.

Many roads were impassable, and a vigil was kept on all who were stranded or were taken to staging areas and warming stations. I would also like to thank the owners of the BP station at Route 47 at Route 72 for allowing those stranded along Route 47 to stay warm at
their place of business.

Many members of the Sheriff’s Office worked double shifts to guarantee your safety, and if you know any of the people who bravely performed these duties—or if you see them in passing—please thank them for the long hours they worked for your benefit.

Also, this is a reminder of the importance of having a full tank of gas, a cell phone, ice scrapers and blankets in your vehicle during the winter months. Please travel safely during the remaining winter months, and in the event of future blizzard conditions we ask that you not drive unless it is absolutely necessary.

Sheriff Patrick Perez
Kane County

Citizen Police Academy gives glimpse into police work

by Tammy Swanson
KANEVILLE—After Pat Hill’s business, Hill’s Country Store in Kaneville, was burglarized more than a year ago, she wondered why it took the police so long to take fingerprints. She had many other questions about the policing process, too, and found the answers by participating in the Citizens Police Academy that the Kane County Sheriff’s Department offers.

“(Sheriff) Pat Perez told me about it. He said it would be really cool,” Hill said.

And she found that to be true.

She liked the Citizen Police Academy so much, she was disappointed when the 10-week, weekly program ended this spring.

“I looked forward to it (class),” Hill said. “I hoped it was going longer.”

She learned a lot, including the reason for the fingerprint results delay.

“Now, I know,” Hill said. “It’s backlogged. The state is so backlogged with handling everything unless it is a violent crime. Mine was just vandalism.”

The academy gave Hill look into the life of a police officer. She learned how police officers train, as well as what constitutes their daily job duties. The academy also teaches about the different divisions in the Sheriff’s Department, including K-9, SWAT, 911, crime scene investigation, evidence, corrections, patrol and criminal.

“You get to see all the aspects of everything,” Hill said.

One of the highlights of the class for Hill was to ride along with a patrol deputy and see how the officer would handle different situations.

“When we went on patrol and had to pretend to stop people, I had to stop a guy who had a gun tucked away in the front seat and he flipped me off,” she said. “I had to pretend when he was pulling the gun and say, ‘Put your hands on the wheel’ and pretend to pull my fake gun out on him.”

Participants even had an opportunity to fire real guns.

“I had never touched a gun before in my life; I had never shot a gun before in my life, and I got to in the simulator,” Hill said. “I got to do the assault rifle, the pistol and the tazer. They were so heavy. You would not believe how heavy a gun is.”

She also enjoyed the the K-9 unit class.

“They (the Sheriff’s Department) have these dogs from Hungary or Germany,” Hill said. “You have to speak to them in that language. They are trained that way.”

Participants also had a chance to drive a patrol car and wear a bulletproof vest.

In addition to all she learned by participating in the academy, the classes made Hill respect police officers more.

“I totally gained so much from it,” said Hill.

Through the academy, Hill gained insight into how risky a police officer’s role can be.

“I have a deeper appreciation for how dangerous their job is,” Hill said.

To participate in the Citizens Police Academy, a person must live or work in unincorporated Kane County, be 18 years or older, have no felony convictions or any misdemeanor arrests within a year of application.

“You have to, of course, be fingerprinted and your name is put through the database to make sure you are not wanted as a felon or anything like that,” said Hill.

The Citizens Police Academy is free and allows 20 students per session. All of the police officers who teach the classes donate their time for the program.

After graduating from the academy program, Hill decided to establish a Neighborhood Watch in Kaneville focusing on communication and education.

“We want to start (one) in the area because we had a rash of break-ins a couple months ago where locks were cut off garages and stuff stolen from sheds,” Hill said.

Next session starts Sept. 1

Wednesday nights
Sept. 1 through Nov. 3
6 to 9 p.m.

Kane County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. John Grimes, Pat Hill, and Kane County Sheriff Pat Perez pose for a picture after Hill completed the Kane County Citizens Police Academy—A 10-week course offered by the Sheriff’s Department. Courtesy Photo

Feb. 2 Election Results

Below are the local unofficial results from the Feb. 2, 2010 primary election. Winners names are in bold.

District Representative 14th Congressional District

Democratic candidates
Bill Foster—25,071
Republican candidates
Randall M. “Randy” Hultgren—34,472
Ethan A. Hastert—28,575

State Senator 25th District

Democratic candidates
Leslie N. Juby—8,492
Republican candidates
P. Sean Michels—9,444
Chris Lauzen—22,110

State Representative 50th District

Democratic candidates
Linda Healy—4,435
Republican candidates
Keith R. Wheeler—7,344
Kay Hatcher—8,468
Bob McQuillan—2,462

Kane County Clerk

Democratic candidates
Ghafran Chishti—12,242
Republican candidates
John A. “Jack” Cunningham—30,139

Kane County Treasurer

Democratic candidates
Republican candidates
David J. Rickert—24,125
Bob Kovanic—7,347

Kane County Sheriff

Democratic candidates
Pat Perez—13,435
Republican candidates—too close to call, awaiting absentee count
L. Robert Russell—15,531
Donald E. Kramer—15,570

Kane County Board District 5

Democratic candidates
Republican candidates
Bill Wyatt—1,152
Melisa Taylor—1,332

Kane County Board District 25

Democratic candidates
Republican candidates
Bob Kudlicki—1,447
Thomas (T.R.) Smith—1,863

16th Judicial Circuit (Grometer Vacancy)

Democratic candidates
Republican candidates
Fred M. Morelli—17,910
Kevin T. Busch—28,050

16th Judicial Circuit (Kane County Vacancy)

Democratic candidates
John G. Dalton—7,584
Michael C. Funkey—5,407
Republican candidates
Thomas Patrick Rice—5,841
Robert L. Janes—4,115
D. J. Tegeler—3,065
Leonard J. Wojtecki—5,374
David R. Akemann—12,880


Sugar Grove Library Proposition to increase the limiting rate

Pair of Republicans race to face Perez

by Ryan Wells
A pair of Republican candidates for Kane County Sheriff, L. Robert Russell and Donald E. Kramer, will face each other on Feb. 2 for the chance to run against Democratic incumbent Pat Perez, who is running unopposed in the primary election.

L. Robert Russell
L. Robert Russell said that he has the experience, ideas and leadership skills necessary to bring the Kane County Sheriff’s Department into the future.

“What the Kane County Sheriff’s Office needs most is a vision for the future and a leader who can implement that vision,” Russell said.

He has worked for the DuPage County Sheriff’s Office since 1993, having worked in all three bureaus of the department—corrections, court security and patrol. He currently serves as the supervising liaison for the Wayne, Addison and Bloomingdale townships. He was also selected by DuPage’s sheriff to serve in search-and-rescue efforts in the wake of hurricanes Katrina and Rita, earning a commendation for his service there.

He said it is this wide-ranging experience in a different—but local—department that has given him the skills and knowledge to help resolve what he says are reoccurring problems within the department.

“I’m a Kane County taxpayer, and I’m aware of the reoccurring problems at the Sheriff’s Office,” he said. “I see solutions out there that aren’t being brought to the table. I believe the office needs a fresh perspective to deal with these immediate problems.”

One of those immediate problems Russell said he wants to address is the personnel make-up of the department. The current structure is too inefficient and harms the department’s ability to deliver the type of service required, Russell said.

“I would implement a plan to improve the efficiency and quality of service,” Russell said. “It has been revealed on several occasions that the current administration is top-heavy.”

By using the term “top heavy,” Russell said that there are too many administrators sitting in offices, and not enough officers in the field. This has a negative impact on both the budget and on the department’s ability to respond to needs throughout the county.

“We need to get the boots off of the carpet and back on the streets,” Russell said. “There needs to be a reallocation of the current personnel.”

That shift in personnel focus to make the department less top heavy will help at the budgetary level as well, Russell said. With the economic downturn affecting everyone and every governmental department, this will be a significant part of the focus of the sheriff in the coming years, he said.

“Like everybody else, my family has learned to live within our means during these tough economic times,” Russell said. “The Sheriff’s Office needs to do the same. The next administration needs to respond appropriately to the economic downturn, by staying within the adjusted budget and bringing proactive solutions to the table.”

Russell said that not only will he focus on cutting expenses and creating efficiencies to eliminate wasteful spending, he will also look at ways for the department to obtain more revenue.

“After looking at the expenses … the first thing that I would do is hire a full-time grant writer,” he said.

Currently, the administration employes a part-time grant writer, who has obtained several grants to ease budget pressures.

“How many more could have been obtained with a full-time grant writer?” Russell asked. “A full-time grant writer will pay for him or herself many times over through increased grant awards, and is a wise use of Sheriff’s Office funds.”

The effort to revise the department’s personnel structure and address its fiscal challenges must coincide with an improvement in the department’s service and response times, he said.

“People in western townships have complained of long response times—up to 30 minutes,” Russell said. “That’s unacceptable. We can improve service by partnering with the townships.”

The range of goals Russell laid out will be achieved, he said, because of his leadership abilities.

“I have led, and will continue to lead, by working problems and finding solutions,” Russell said.

Donald E. Kramer
As a more than 30-year employee of the Kane County Sheriff’s Office, from June 1979 to November 2009, Donald E. Kramer said he has the experience and already-existing knowledge of the department to step in and make an impact from day one.

“I believe the Sheriff’s Office needs leadership that will provide more effective service to the citizens of Kane County,” Kramer said. “I believe that I have the skill level and experience to manage the personnel and address the core needs of the citizens while maintaining a balanced budget.”

Kramer joined the department in 1979, and was promoted to sergeant in 1986 and lieutenant in 2002. During those years, he supervised a jail shift for four years, headed a traffic division for eight years, and managed the computer network, department training, and community policy for central Kane County and civil enforcement.

It is that level of management experience and inside knowledge of the Kane County Sheriff’s Office that separates him from his Republican opponent in the primary, or the current sheriff and democratic candidate, Kramer said.

“My Republican challenger has considerably less management experience and is not familiar with the operations of the Sheriff’s Office,” Kramer said. “I also have more education and lifetime experience than the current sheriff and believe his will make a difference as the leader of the Kane County Sheriff’s Office.”

Kramer said he hopes to use that experience and knowledge to restructure the department in a more efficient and effective manner, ranging from individual officers up through the management ranks. He also intends to work other law enforcement agencies to share resources and combine efforts in combating drugs and gangs, and improve traffic safety.

“I plan on building a management team that will determine the needs of the community and work with supervisors to implement successful strategies,” he said. “Upper-level management will also be more responsible for collaborating with other agencies and managing finances to achieve these goals within financial constraints.”

The biggest challenge facing whomever is elected to the position, Kramer said, is to provide for the public safety while navigating through a budget crunch that translates to a reduction in finances and personnel.

“Because there has been a significant cut in the budget and personnel, it will be necessary as sheriff to redeploy resources to address core issues that affect the greatest number of citizens,” Kramer said. “To accomplish this, I will reduce the number of specialized units and reassign personnel in order to provide the greatest amount of service to attack neighborhood crime and traffic violations.”

With all units of government facing tightening budgets, Kramer said that it will be vital for all elected officials to work together more effectively in order to provide the highest level of service while remaining fiscally responsible.

“That can only be accomplished with mutual cooperation and understanding,” he said.

All of the management, restructuring and financial decisions must be made with the public in mind, he said. Given that, he said his ultimate focus will be on maintaining—and improving—the level of service provided by the Kane County Sheriff’s Department.

“I am committed to listening to the needs of citizens and addressing the issues that bring the greatest return to the safety and security of the public,” he said.

Pat Perez
Pat Perez has served as Kane County Sheriff since 2006, having previously worked for the department since 1992. He served the department as a supervisor from 1996 to 2006, and said that his time both in the department and as sheriff have given him the insight necessary to continue to improve the department.

“I have seen the growth of Kane County and strive constantly to provide the best service possible for those we serve,” Perez said. “I know from experience the quality-of-life issues that range from domestic violence to burglary to drug and gang enforcement to foreclosures and evictions.”

Perez said the department has applied a proactive application to law enforcement, rather than just react to crimes as they occur. He pointed to the 2008 move from the Geneva facility to the St. Charles facility—in which 511 inmates were transferred without incident and without an interruption of service to the public—as an example of the impacts of a proactive approach.

“We have embarked on a new era and I am honored to have been sheriff during this important time in our agency’s history,” Perez said.

Perez said that included in that new era are accomplishments such as reducing unnecessary spending, redeployment of personnel to increase the department’s efficiency, and expanding its outreach to the communities.

“I have kept the promises I made when I ran for sheriff in 2006, and will continue to lead our agency in a positive direction,” he said.

Looking forward, Perez said his most immediate priority is to navigate through the difficult economic climate facing his department in 2010. To that end, he said all decisions will be made without negatively impacting the department’s patrol functions, because that aspect of the department consists of the true first responders who have the largest impact on the citizens.

“The economic downturn has inspired us to do the very best we can with the resources we have,” Perez said.

One way to increase the resources available to the department is to focus on obtaining grant funding. He said the department has obtained more than $890,000 during the past three years, which translated to vehicle purchases, training and personnel that might otherwise not be available.

Additionally, Perez plans to continue to foster partnerships with Kane County citizens.

“Our expansion of Community Policing, Neighborhood Watch, TRIAD Senior Services, Citizen’s Police Academy and Jail Ministries are but a few of the programs that have drawn us together as a community,” he said.

That sense of community is vital to the continued improvement of the department, Perez said, adding that collaboration has already had an impact.

“Through maintaining relationships with our fellow law enforcement agencies, with elected officials at all levels and with the citizens of Kane County, we have made great strides in crime prevention and have seen a reduction in crime,” he said. “I realize that all our accomplishments are the result of group efforts.”

Sheriff names shelter founder Citizen of the Year

by Martha Quetsch
Kane County—“How you doin’, friend?” is Darlene Marcusson’s standard greeting to everyone she encounters at Lazarus House, the homeless shelter she directs in St. Charles. That compassionate approach to community service is one reason Kane County Sheriff Pat Perez honored her with the 2009 Roscoe Ebey Citizen of the Year Award

Marcusson, of Elburn, received the award during a ceremony on Nov. 12 for going above and beyond the call of civic duty. Perez said Tuesday that Marcusson is the embodiment of the Roscoe Ebey award and a model for others to follow.

“I have personally observed her operations at Lazarus House and the passion she has for helping those in need,” Perez said. “Her passion is also reflected in her staff as they provide care to those in need.”

As a member of Batavia Rotary, Perez helps serve dinner monthly at Lazarus House, where he has observed Marcusson in action.

“I see the care and respect Darlene provides not just to individuals, but sometimes entire families,” Perez said. “She gives people who have become homeless hope and every opportunity possible to help rebuild their lives and once again gain independence.”

Perez praised Marcusson for working with him to make sure inmates being released from custody in the Kane County Jail who are homeless know that Lazarus House is open to them.

Marcusson founded Lazarus House in 1997, starting it in a home in St. Charles. Through grants, donations and volunteers, the year-round shelter has grown to occupy three buildings at Walnut and Third streets in St. Charles, with a staff of 38.

Lazarus, which serves western rural Kane County and the Tri-Cities, offers a 24-hour shelter, a three-meal-per-day soup kitchen, personal development programs, and transitional living quarters. In addition, it helps subsidize household budgets and connects clients with appropriate social services agencies in the area to help them regain their independence.

Darlene said she credits Lazarus’ success to following her faith, running the shelter like a business, and to her husband, Sam.

“I couldn’t have done this without him, especially when we first started—I was hardly ever home,” Marcusson said.

That was 12 years ago, when she ran Lazarus as a warm-weather, night shelter with help from just a few volunteers. At the time, she worked another job full time and the couple was raising two children.

She also said Lazarus House could not have been successful without the thousands of volunteers and people who have donated money, food and other items to the facility since its inception.

“I am very greatful. I am very blessed that we have had all of these friends,” Marcusson said.

Award history
The Kane County Sheriff’s Department Roscoe Ebey Citizen of the Year award was named for a former Aurora resident who was a decorated WW II military veteran. Ebey was murdered in 2007 by a home intruder. To honor him, Kane County Sheriff Pat Perez created the award in 2008. This year, two other individuals also were recipients of the 2009 Roscoe Ebey award: Sarah Giachino and Kathy Tobusch, both of Batavia. Giachino and Tobusch are co-chairmen of Fox Valley Troop Support, Inc.

The first recipient in 2007 was Ebey’s neighbor, who held down Ebey’s murderer the night of the tragedy until Sheriff’s deputies arrived. The 2008 recipient was the Rev. David Engbarth of Our Lady of Good Counsel Church in Aurora.

Darlene Marcusson’s other honors
In addition to the Ebey Citizen of the Year Award, Lazarus House Executive Director Darlene Marcusson of Elburn has received other honors for her work. Some of those were the Illinois Woman of Achievement Award, recognizing her efforts in founding Lazarus House; the Civic Image award in 2002, recognizing the addition of the new Lazarus House Center for Transitional Living; the Illinois Governor’s Hometown Award in 2002, recognizing the significant contributions of volunteers in the community; the Peace Award from the Crisis Center in 2006 for work on behalf of victims of violence; the St. Charles Chamber of Commerce Community Development Award in 2007 for the Lazarus House’s new Women and Children’s Day Center; and the NAMI Advocate of the Year Award in 2009 recognizing efforts advocating for those with mental health issues.

Photo: Darlene Marcusson, executive director of Lazarus House, received the 2009 Roscoe Ebey Kane County Sheriff’s Department Citizen of the Year Award for her work with the St. Charles shelter, where scriptures painted by volunteers adorn the stairwell. Photo by Martha Quetsch

Former SG man charged with damage to cars

by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVE—Sugar Grove police arrested former Sugar Grove resident Stephen Dale Matthews on Aug. 19 for criminal damage to property, after he reportedly damaged 29 vehicles in the Sugar Grove area on the morning of Aug. 6.

The majority of the damage was in the form of scratches from a stone or other sharp object to vehicles parked on Arbor Avenue, Calkins Drive, Bristol Court, Chelsea Avenue, Bedford Avenue, Cross Street and Rolling Oaks Drive. There was also a smashed mailbox.

Profanities and derogatory descriptions of individuals were scratched into the hoods, trunks and sides of the cars. Some of the scratches were fairly deep, and will require the replacement of the automobile panels. Damage done to the cars ranges from $400 to $3,100 per car, for a total of about $20,000.

Matthews, 18, currently lives in the 200 block of West North Street in Dwight, Ill., where police there are investigating similar damage done to vehicles. He was charged with criminal damage to property, a class 4 felony, for the vehicle with more than $3,000 in damage, and criminal damage to government-supported property, a class 3 felony, for damage done to a vehicle owned by Kane County and driven by Kane County Sheriff Pat Perez.

There was also one misdemeanor count of criminal damage to property for the mailbox. Additional charges are pending as the department receives estimates from other victims whose cars were damaged. Citizens are encouraged to get an estimate for damages and file a police report with the Sugar Grove Police Department if they believe their cars may have been involved in this incident.

Matthews is currently out of jail on a $25,000 bond. His first court date is Friday, Aug. 28.

Starting from scratch

MP’s search for police chief begins anew, targets Sept. 9
by Martha Quetsch
Maple Park—Maple Park village trustee Debra Armstrong, in charge of the search for a new police chief, said the village is starting from scratch in this endeavor.

“We are not using how we have done things in the past as a marker,” Armstrong said.

Armstrong said she and other members of the new Personnel and Communications Committee are researching everything associated with the position to create a job description and salary. They intend to place the opening online and in newspapers as soon as that work is done.

“We are doing our due diligence before we post the position,” Armstrong said.

Part of that legwork will involve consulting with Kane and DeKalb counties’ sheriff’s departments about what the village should seek in a new chief.

As of yet, she does not know whether the job will be full- or part-time.

Currently, the Maple Park Police Department has a part-time officer in charge and several part-time officers.

Village President Kathy Curtis wants the committee to select a new police chief by Sept. 9.

The Maple Park Police Department has been without a police chief since village officials decided 13 months ago not to re-appoint former Police Chief Steve Yahnke.

Yahnke, while working part-time as Maple Park’s police chief, also was employed full time at the Kane County Sheriff’s Department. Sheriff Pat Perez opposed Yahnke’s working for both law enforcement agencies, saying he should not wear two badges.

During her campaign this spring for village president, Curtis said the lack of leadership on the former Police Committee delayed the hiring process. Curtis eliminated the committee.