'Feud' at center of McHenry Co. sheriff's race

March 15, 2014 (MCHENRY COUNTY, Ill.)

Some say a long-standing feud between the current sheriff and the state's attorney is dividing the party line.

Andrew Zinke started his career as a patrolman in Wisconsin when he was 18 years old and joined the McHenry County Sheriff's Department when he was 21.

"I've worked as a deputy sheriff. I've worked as a canine handler, SWAT team member, accident traffic crash investigator," Zinke said. "In 2010, I became undersheriff which is second in command in this office."

While Zinke has his boss's backing, he downplays the impact of a rift between Sheriff Keith Nygren and state's attorney Lou Bianchi. Zinke says he has an open-door policy and can work with anyone to get the job done.

"This is personal animosity between two people and a candidate from Cook County, Des Plaines, who's trying to fan the fire and make it sound like it's so much worse than it is," Zinke said.

His opponent, William "Bill" Prim, says the problem is not isolated to two people, but permeates the departments.

"The schism that's created, it's ineffective and it's extremely expensive to the taxpayers," Prim said.

The retired Des Plaines police commander has Bianchi's support. He says if he wins he would restructure the department to save money and lead by example.

"During the course of my career, I've exemplified leadership skills. I've been trained in virtually every area of law enforcement including Northwestern Staffing Command School for police administrators and I think I understand law enforcement from the bottom up," Prim said.

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